Most children experience insecurity at some point or other, but a chronically insecure child is hard for parents to handle. You might feel guilty or sad that your child is suffering emotionally. Finding your child a therapist trained to deal with insecurity can really help, but there are things that you can do with your child to help stem insecure feelings and make her more comfortable.
Monitor Your Emotions
Many times, your actions and example rub off on your child, so if talking to strangers or going to the doctor makes you insecure, chances are your child will pick up on that and follow suit. Keep your own insecurity at bay when your child comes to you about a fight with a friend or a failing grade, suggests social worker Janet Lehman on the Empowering Parents website. Be available for your child, but make sure you keep your own feelings out of the equation so they don't influence how he reacts to a situation or person in his life.
Create Family Traditions
You probably can't banish insecurity from your child's life altogether, but knowing she can count on her family gives her a sense of security that can carry her through other situations she encounters. Family traditions are a valuable way to help children feel as though they belong and have a rightful place in the world, notes Glynnis Whitwer, author of "When Your Child is Hurting." Family game night, a trip to the pizza place after sports games or ice cream on report card day are all options. Everyday traditions such as naming one positive thing that happened or taking a walk after dinner are important too.
As a parent, it can be overwhelmingly difficult not to jump in and fix every problem your child is having. When it comes to insecurity, whether it stems from peers, performance in the classroom or making the basketball team, listening to your child talk about his feelings can help him cope. Lehman suggests asking your child what you can do to help. Listen carefully to what your child tells you without minimizing his feelings or trying to take over and solve the problem, she adds. Respond with empathy and understanding so your child knows you know what he's going through and are available when he needs you.
Maybe your child wasn't the top earner for the school fundraiser or she didn't beat her track record, but that doesn't mean there aren't other things at which she excels. This is hard for kids to remember when they're in the throes of a disappointment that makes them feel insecure. Injecting little compliments into her day is an effective way to keep her feeling good about herself, according to Lehman. Comment on her clean room, the good grade she got on an essay or how her efforts at skateboarding are paying off.
- Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images