Comfort Eke

How do you help a child with a low self esteem?

Every child understands that living in a typical African home isn’t easy, its featured by being constantly beaten for every single mistake. You will live a life of scoldings every single day. There is always a constant battle within yourself, battle of doubts wondering if you are really loved by your parents or if you are even their child. Having a constant feeling of running away from home because you feel more like an outsider than a member of a family.

Why aren’t you as beautiful as your sister? Why are you ugly? Why are you not smart? Why are you short? So many questions and comments that reduces your self esteem.

“You came back again with a 7th position” said Bella’s mum.

Bella was the first child of a family of four. She was just nine years with a little brother who was about two years. She came from a family where it was believed you can only be the best and nothing else, no substitute at all. She went to a very competitive school, one of the best in the city of Owerri, Nigeria. She had tried her best to get better grades to no avail. Her mum brought a private tutor but it didn’t work as well, she doesn’t get the first position they wanted. She felt so bad about herself. Her mum constantly compared her to the neighbours that performed better in school. Bella lived her life daily feeling like the worst of herself. She even stopped inviting her friends over so her mum wouldn’t ask questions that will eventually make her feel worse than she felt.

Bella’s life tells a story of most of us while growing up. It’s not so easy to convince a little child that she can get better with time, when her own family makes her feel worse. She was just at a stage where she was learning. She spent 80% of her time at home where she was constantly scolded. How can we help Bella when we didn’t even know how to overcome such challenge during our time?

As a parent especially a mum, you weren’t given that child to abuse or maltreat.That child was meant to be cherished, properly cared for and most especially loved. We were asked to train up a child in such a way that when he or she grows, he or she will never depart from it. That means we are permitted to train a child and not ridicule a child and make the child lose his or her self esteem.

Training a child includes making sure he or she grows into a confident child with a high level of self esteem. Any child that grows with a high self esteem have a high level of self love. I know some of us are not parents, that’s why you need to know this before you enter your parenthood stage, so we can start having a better population of confident children growing with high self esteem.

Comfort Eke is a native of Abia state, Nigeria; from a family of three. She is based in Port Harcourt, Rivers state and a student at the Department of Anatomy in the University of Port Harcourt. She is a writer, an entrepreneur and volunteer.



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