Children with low self-esteem may use any of these cover-ups to hide their lack of self-confidence:

ù Constant tattling. To make themselves look better, some kids constantly report on other children's misdeeds.

ù Bullying. Most bullies suffer from a lack of self-esteem. By pushing other kids around, they try to make themselves feel more in control.

ù Bossing. Some children try to tell everyone else what to do. This can be a sign that they feel they must impress others . . . because they do not feel they are valued for themselves.

ù Fighting. All children fight. Kids who fight all the time may even be willing to get hurt so they get noticed.

ù Overeating. Some kids use food to take the place of love.

ù Becoming a model child. Children who never act out may be afraid their parents won't love them if they act like a normal kid. Kids with high self-esteem know their parents love them even if they're not perfect.

ù Withdrawing. Some children simply give up. They would rather not try than try and fail. These children stop trying to win approval. They may turn to daydreaming in their own safe world.

Parents can help build children's self-esteem. Praising children, expecting them to succeed, helping them feel competent and capable, and making sure they know they are loved all help build self-esteem.

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