Children with low self esteem will reveal it through their words. Listen to what your child says about himself. Children with low self esteem talk negatively about and to themselves. Examples of such statements include:
• “I’m stupid.”
• “Everybody hates me.”
• “I’m not good at anything.”
• “Nobody cares if I’m alive.”
• “I’m ugly.”
Your child will also reveal his level of self esteem through his behavior. Watch how he reacts to compliments, criticism, and defeat. Children with low self esteem are uncomfortable with compliments. They do not believe the compliment is true and are therefore unwilling to accept it with a thank you. Instead they tend to break eye contact and shy away, either saying nothing or rejecting the compliment by berating themselves.
Children with low self esteem have difficulty accepting negative feedback. Because their self esteem is so fragile, the slightest indication that they have a fault stimulates a global sense of failure to which they react with anger.
Handling difficult tasks and failure also is very distressing for Asperger’s Disorder children with low self esteem. Their frustration tolerance is very low and their temper flares rapidly if they are not immediately successful at a task.