No matter what the grade level, if a student is suffering from low self-esteem, it can affect every avenue of their life. It impacts their ability to socialize with others and presents them with constant academic challenges. On the other hand, positive self-esteem can have the opposite effect where a student will find it is easy to make friends and can achieve better grades than ever before.
What Does the Research Say?
You may feel that every kid will face a drop in confidence every now and then. This is definitely true, but don’t underestimate how important role self-esteem plays in students of all ages. Student achievement and self-esteem go hand in hand and if you know of a child that has their confidence at an all-time low, you should go out of your way to improve the situation.
For instance, research has shown that when a student has strong self-esteem, they are more likely to be a leader. They hold themselves accountable and are not easily swayed by bad influences. Those with low self-esteem are quick to blame others and tend to fall in with the wrong crowd. As schools look into further providing their students with social and emotional learning, proper self-esteem will be a hot topic.
Also, self-esteem and academic achievement tie in with one another as well. This study showed that regardless if the student was a boy or a girl, positive self-esteem played a major role in gaining high academic achievement. Students with suitable confidence in themselves scored higher across the board. Sometimes, as educators and parents focus too much on what is wrong with a child, they need to step back and look at the good things instead. After all, an increase in self-esteem can do wonders for struggling children and a wrong word can send them spiraling even further.
Self-Esteem Issues to Be Aware of
The key is to be aware of how low self-esteem can present itself. For example, kids that experience a high level of anxiety usually are suffering from self-esteem issues. The same can be said for those battling depression.
Another instance may be when the student is becoming withdrawn from everything and everyone around them. Social withdrawal can often mean that the child feels like they can’t offer anything good from within to others. Things that used to provide them joy are now often avoided because their self-esteem is decreasing.
Causes of Low Self-Esteem
There are a number of reasons why a child may have low self-esteem. Perhaps they do not have supportive parents and have not had a strong adult influence in their lives. They may feel as if no one is there to help them academically or socially either. Maybe they are being bullied by classmates or older students. Still, maybe they have had one traumatic experience that has affected them so greatly that their self-confidence has not rebounded from it. Any of these could be reasons for low self-esteem.
Try to Help the Situation
If you know of a student with low self-esteem that you would love to help, there are simple things you can do to get the ball rolling. Provide them with compliments when they do something good. Point out how many positive things they offer others and the potential you see in them. Be sure to meet with them more in a one-to-one setting as they may feel uncomfortable with praise around others.
If you would like to learn more ways about making your classroom a place to raise self-esteem instead of lowering it, iAchieve offers professional development workshops that could be of assistance. For instance, we can help you bully-proof your classroom and make it a place to gain new friends instead of antagonizing student relationships. Every little bit helps with students that are struggling with low self-esteem!