Three Creative Ways to Boost Your Foster Child’s Self-Esteem

10th of June 2018

Mother and daughter hugging.

Trauma-affected children, who have been removed from their families, often struggle with feelings of inadequacy and can suffer from low self-esteem. Self-esteem has to do with how someone perceives themselves. If a child believes that they are unworthy, damaged, or unwanted, he or she is more susceptible to forming addictions, engaging in unhealthy behaviors and succumbing to peer pressure. According to a recent article from Simply Psychology, children with low self-esteem frequently engage in bullying, quitting, cheating and avoiding.

Here are some common signs that your child may be suffering from low self-esteem:

  • They are critical of themselves
  • They focus on their perceived failures
  • They use negative language to describe themselves
  • They are hesitant to try new things
  • They consistently withdraw from their peers

One of the biggest indicators of low self-esteem is when children constantly compare themselves to other children, and often feel like they fall short. To help enhance your child’s self-esteem, you must take an active role in their lives and show them that your love for them is unconditional. Here are a few tips you can use to help your child increase their self-esteem:

  • Help your child feel accepted into your family: For many foster children, the feeling of belonging can help them feel wanted and valuable. Creating a safe, nurturing environment where your child feels accepted is especially important because many foster children have reported feeling like outsiders. Treat your foster child with respect and love and include them in family outings. Also, create a space in your home that’s just for them. Hang up pictures of them and get their input about what activities they’d enjoy.
  • Try a self-esteem boosting exercise: Have your child state/write things they like about themselves every night before bed or in the morning before school. This activity will help them begin to adopt more positive thoughts about themselves over time, and can reap huge rewards that will last them a lifetime.
  • Model healthy self-esteem: Kids often mirror the adults around them. Saying positive words about yourself, staying calm when you make a mistake, having healthy expectations of yourself, and practicing patience and kindness with yourself during stressful times can have a tremendous impact on children.

To learn more about Trinity Youth Services’ programs and support for resource families, call 909.825.5588 or email info@trinityys.org.

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