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Tessied

Low Self Esteem

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Tessied

My little boy is 9 and is a very sensitive kid.

 

He struggles with any kind of criticism (ie, when he does something wrong) and immediately goes to extremes (I hate myself).

 

I'm not sure why he has such low self esteem - we have a very close relationship and a strong bond. I don't over praise but tell him when he's done well and he beams when he has.

 

He's very shy at school, the teacher I think is shocked how well he reads when he's recorded himself at home as she barely hears him speak.

 

Any ideas on how to improve his self esteem?

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José

It sounds like anxiety is an underlying factor.

Id consider something like the cool kids program and a psychologist.

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amdirel

Mine is the same. He has anxiety and sees a psych.

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CrankyM

It also sounds like anxiety to me. My child has anxiety and it can come out like this. “I hate myself” “I’m so stupid” “why am I so dumb”. And also completely ridiculous expectations on what he should be able to do. He sees a psychologist and we also do a lot of talk around when these episodes occur around challenging this thought process. There was a thread recently around a similar aged child and perfectionism which might be helpful too with some ideas.

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Not Escapin Xmas

Now that you’ve seen the disconnect between what he’s like at school and at home, you are are a good place to take some action. I agree with PPs re a child psych being a good next step.

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Tessied

Thanks all! I have no idea how you go about finding a good psych though....who he would feel comfortable opening up with. Are they bulk billed?

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Sandra

Might be worth asking the school if they have a psychologist who can assist, most schools should have one who visits.

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amdirel

Thanks all! I have no idea how you go about finding a good psych though....who he would feel comfortable opening up with. Are they bulk billed?

 

You can go to your gp and ask for a mental health care plan. Then you just pay the gap.

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CrankyM

Might be worth asking the school if they have a psychologist who can assist, most schools should have one who visits.

 

This. Or chat to your GP. Some know good local psychs some don’t. You can get a mental health care plan which gives you 6 subsided sessions (and then can go back and request another 4 for the year). Then you pay a gap fee. The school might also know of services locally which are more affordable (my oldest saw someone under ATAPS but I’m not sure if that funding is still available). It can be expensive. Some health funds also pay a small part of the fee if you run out of the Medicare sessions (you can’t used both at the same time).

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SplashingRainbows

It’s cheaper to get psych on our health fund than to pay our non bulk billing doctor for a plan and refresh plus the Medicare gap fee. Our GP is expensive though! Lucky she’s worth it.

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José

It’s cheaper to get psych on our health fund than to pay our non bulk billing doctor for a plan and refresh plus the Medicare gap fee. Our GP is expensive though! Lucky she’s worth it.

 

Your private health must be generous!.

With the plan you get a Medicare rebate of about $85 for each appointment if your psychologist has general registration. The rebate is higher for a clinical psychologist.

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MadMarchMasterchef

Both my girls have done this at different times.

 

(7 & 9) both have anxiety :( DD1 has dyslexia and DD2 probably does (delayed OT assessment due to CV)

 

Id suggest the mental health plan.

 

OT has helped DD1 a lot. A class teacher she clicked with made a huge difference.

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just roses

My little boy was similar and saw a psych for almost a year, at about the same age.

 

It was extremely useful and even now, at 13, he's able to use the strategies she gave him to talk his way out of feelings of doubt or anxiety.

 

Is there anyone at school suitably qualified, such as a school psychologist? Could any friends recommend someone they've seen? It's important to get the right fit - and a psych that is experienced with kids. Ours was a former guidance officer, so had a very close working knowledge of the playground/classroom context, which was helpful.

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Dadto2

Does he play any sport? That may help with his confidence?

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Tessied

My little boy was similar and saw a psych for almost a year, at about the same age.

 

It was extremely useful and even now, at 13, he's able to use the strategies she gave him to talk his way out of feelings of doubt or anxiety.

 

Is there anyone at school suitably qualified, such as a school psychologist? Could any friends recommend someone they've seen? It's important to get the right fit - and a psych that is experienced with kids. Ours was a former guidance officer, so had a very close working knowledge of the playground/classroom context, which was helpful.

 

I wonder how much of it is an age thing for kids who are generally sensitive?

 

That's promising it worked!

 

Once school goes back I think I will ask the school wellbeing person if they can recommend someone and go from there.

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Tessied

Does he play any sport? That may help with his confidence?

 

Nope. He used to play auskick but footy never interested him, he's more of a skater kid type.

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Melbs2010

My son is very similar so this thread has been helpful. I'm thinking child psych as well.

 

I'm finding remote learning and the lack of extra curicular activities is exacerbating the low self-esteem. Either that or the fact I'm actually hearing a lot of the self-criticism because we are home together. But him not having the outlets that normally provide a feeling of skill and competency (in his case trampolining and parkour) really seems to be having a negative impact. Could be similar for you OP if favourite activities are currently inaccessible. Sadly, the reopening of indoor trampolining centres is going to be a ways off.

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Tessied

My son is very similar so this thread has been helpful. I'm thinking child psych as well.

 

I'm finding remote learning and the lack of extra curicular activities is exacerbating the low self-esteem. Either that or the fact I'm actually hearing a lot of the self-criticism because we are home together. But him not having the outlets that normally provide a feeling of skill and competency (in his case trampolining and parkour) really seems to be having a negative impact. Could be similar for you OP if favourite activities are currently inaccessible. Sadly, the reopening of indoor trampolining centres is going to be a ways off.

 

I'm wondering if it's the pressure of having me actually SEE him do school work.

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MadMarchMasterchef

My son is very similar so this thread has been helpful. I'm thinking child psych as well.

 

I'm finding remote learning and the lack of extra curicular activities is exacerbating the low self-esteem. Either that or the fact I'm actually hearing a lot of the self-criticism because we are home together.

 

I don't know if you have other kids but I found home learning made my girls feel like they were in competition with each other :( But its a catch 22 because if I give them different tasks to do they whinge its not fair

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José

I wonder how much of it is an age thing for kids who are generally sensitive?

 

That's promising it worked!

 

Once school goes back I think I will ask the school wellbeing person if they can recommend someone and go from there.

 

You said his teacher barely hears him speak. I don't think that's an age thing.

I'm glad you plan on getting support for him.

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Tessied

You said his teacher barely hears him speak. I don't think that's an age thing.

I'm glad you plan on getting support for him.

 

He'll speak, he's just shy. I was the same in school so the shy part I'm not overly concerned about. Once he knows someone he acts normally, but he takes a while to warm up. He gets in trouble for walking to his friends so in some ways he's too chatty at school but when it comes to public speaking, he hates it and will do the absolute minimum.

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Melbs2010

 

 

I'm wondering if it's the pressure of having me actually SEE him do school work.

 

I thought the same thing. I think it's definitely contributing. He gets upset with himself for every tiny mistake (even when it's completely new info), for misreading instructions etc. But I do get the sense it's the "pressure" of having me there seeing it and in a typical classroom situation it wouldn't be as extreme. I don't feel as though I am placing any pressure on him and we talk regularly about how everyone makes mistakes, no one is perfect especially during learning etc but it doesn't seem to stick for very long. The whole remote learning thing must contribute because parents typically are not also their child's teacher and it's a weird mix up of roles that I've found challenging for myself. So no doubt kids find it equally challenging to see their parents acting somewhat like a teacher.

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Melbs2010

 

 

I don't know if you have other kids but I found home learning made my girls feel like they were in competition with each other :( But its a catch 22 because if I give them different tasks to do they whinge its not fair

 

No just the one child here so I don't have that extra challenge thankfully. But as I said above I'm finding the role of "teacher" and parent doesn't fit together well and is making for a strange dynamic. And I think it's both me and my child who find it uncomfortable.

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Tessied

I thought the same thing. I think it's definitely contributing. He gets upset with himself for every tiny mistake (even when it's completely new info), for misreading instructions etc. But I do get the sense it's the "pressure" of having me there seeing it and in a typical classroom situation it wouldn't be as extreme. I don't feel as though I am placing any pressure on him and we talk regularly about how everyone makes mistakes, no one is perfect especially during learning etc but it doesn't seem to stick for very long. The whole remote learning thing must contribute because parents typically are not also their child's teacher and it's a weird mix up of roles that I've found challenging for myself. So no doubt kids find it equally challenging to see their parents acting somewhat like a teacher.

 

Yep same, it's like he thinks he should know how to do everything and doesn't understand the concept that 'learning =. mistakes' even though I do say it etc all the time.

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just roses

I wonder how much of it is an age thing for kids who are generally sensitive?

 

That's promising it worked!

 

Once school goes back I think I will ask the school wellbeing person if they can recommend someone and go from there.

Mine is still a quiet, sensitive kid. But he now has the tools to deal with his worries, which has made a big difference.

 

My daughter went through similar, but with a debilitating fear of rain/storms. We took a different approach with her (exposure type therapy) but again, a few months of psych intervention made a huge difference.

 

I can't recommend intervention highly enough, just to give kids the tools they need to help themselves. Some kids will need more, obviously. But others just need a bit of help.

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