There are many children and young people who have low self-esteems when they are at care. This can be for many different reasons e.g. their past experience. Most of the time children in care will say things like, ‘I can’t do anything well’, ‘I know I can’t do it’ or ‘I know that I will fail’. There are also many actions that can lower a child’s or young people’s self-esteem in care. for example, expecting too much or too little from them, yelling at or criticizing children (especially in front of other people), criticizing children more often than praising or showing appreciation, calling children clumsy, stupid, lazy, etc and telling children who have made mistakes that they are failures.
When children or young people are in care it is the service provider’s duty to help build their self esteems higher. Many children and young people may have experienced bullying and torture from their parents and family members and may be scared of expressing themselves or interacting with others in care. Many of them may have felt useless and lonely in their experience and may still feel like that if they don’t receive help. Service provider’s can help bring a child’s self esteem up in many ways. For example, Praise each child's successes (even very small ones), Give sincere affection. Let children know that they are loved and wanted, Show interest in each child's activities, projects, or problems, and tell children what to do instead of what not to do. This prepares them for what to do. Instead of: "Don't throw the ball." Say: "Roll the ball on the floor.” Instead of: "Don't squeeze the kitten.” Say: "Hold the kitten gently." Let children know that mistakes are a natural part of growing up. Everyone (including adults) makes mistakes. Try to ignore temper tantrums and other negative behaviour as much as possible, Show appreciation when children cooperate, help you, say kind things to other children, obey the rules, and do other positive things, Respond affectionately when children behave well. Tell children what you like about their behaviour and Accept and respect each child's family and culture so they don’t feel left out because of their different to everyone else.
Children can feel isolated in care for many different reasons. The most common reason can be having a disability. Many parents abandon their children who have disability problems as they may feel like they cannot cope if they are single parents or they started feeling depressed as they may not have enough time for themselves. 65% of families with disabled children reported feeling isolated frequently or all of the time, 64% reported feeling most isolated when their child was first diagnosed with a disability and 43% said that they felt most isolated during school holidays. When children who have disability problems go into care, they can feel left out if they cannot join in certain activities that are taking place or they can even be bullied by others in the care. Isolation is dangerous for children