Inferiority complex is a big blow to the self esteem. It develops as a result of continuous comparisons of the child with others. The child feels as if he is a failure and remains preoccupied. What should be done to prevent developing of inferiority complex. Read on.
Six-year-old Mridula is very timid and hates meeting children of her age. Constant comparisons with other children and nasty comments have made her feel so inferior that today she is unable to even stand confidently. She is given to understand by her parents that she is dumb and useless. Remarks like "your sister is younger than you, and yet does everything so well" have made her very conscious about anything she does. She feels that whatever she is doing or saying is not correct. Today she stammers while talking and as soon as she realizes that people are approaching her to communicate, her face turns blue with terror. The fear of being right all the time is so strong that it has hampered her growth.
Ten-year old Anmol is an obese child and is always the object of ridicule. He does not indulge in any outdoor activities and feels he is the fattest and ugliest boy around. Depression has gripped him to such an extent that he refuses to eat anything. His parents have recently learnt that Anmol is suffering from thyroid. Had his parents been a little more sensitive, Anmol would at least not have developed an inferiority complex.
Usually rejection by family and friends, or exceedingly high expectations is often the root cause of an inferiority complex. A child's view of herself is based on the things she is being told, the specific situations she experiences, and the way she is treated; a picture of her "self" evolves. If she is praised and encouraged, she is likely to develop a healthy self-esteem. If she is consistently criticized and ridiculed, she begins to question her competency and adequacy. If her feelings are ignored she begins to feel unimportant; she feels ashamed and unworthy. Her inferiority feelings are psychologically induced.
Children suffering from an inferiority complex isolate themselves from others and become preoccupied with their feelings of inferiority. As they grow up they are unable to face failures and they feel they don't have what it takes to succeed in life.
A family (especially parents) support system and motivation play a vital role in overcoming the feeling of inferiority complex and building high level of confidence and self esteem.
Your child is unique. Do not compare your child with anyone. Parental pressure that their child should be best in everything is so immense that they fail to understand that children are also humans. Parents must understand that each individual is different. Let your child develop as an individual person not as some ones neighbour or some ones brother.
Don't criticise your child constantly. Appreciate him even for his small achievements like if has managed to complete his homework on time or if he has successfully finished some household chores. Give a pat on his back and say "well done", or "I am proud of you". This will boost his moral.
Help your child to set goals which are realistic and achievable. Make sure that their efforts are focused on those goals. Teach them success and failures are part and parcel of the process. Once they learn this they will not feel frustrated and will not look down upon themselves.
Encourage your child in any activity he likes. If he likes music, let him learn a musical instrument. If he likes sports, make sure that he gets proper coaching. If your child is not aware about his likings, then expose your child to various options to help him to make up his mind. Instead of saying that "You are taking too much time and you cannot do this?" say "You are little slow" and encourage him to work faster.
Don't be partial in dealing with your children; be fair. Your child will not like to see you favouring his brother or sister because they are smarter. It could create an inferiority complex.
Be friendly and gentle. Don't scold him in front of his friends. Put yourself in your child's shoes and see how you would feel if someone insulted you in public. We detest people who have a huge ego and belittle us. Similarly we love people who are humble, polite, and easy to talk to. Thus we must follow the principle of treating others the way we like to be treated.
Forgive your child. Remember as a kid even you made several mistakes. Teach your child the importance of forgiveness so that they don't hold grudge against anyone. It will help in developing humanitarian attitude in your child.
Develop a sense of belonging. Doing things together as a family can be a rewarding experience for your child. Be with him when he comes back from his school or drop him and pick him up from the school. These actions will certainly make him feel that his parents care for him.
Let your child be a contributing member of a community where he develops a sense of self-worth by serving other people.
Systematic, positive and sensitive approach by parents will help a child to be confident and he will be able to overcome any drawbacks successfully.
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- The Indiaparenting Team