Concern about my daughter’s self-esteem

Ask A Therapist OnlineConcern about my daughter’s self-esteem
Yda asked 12 years ago

Hi, I have a 10 years old daughter, she is very shy, I’ve been noticing that lately she is more insecure, she’s always afraid or upset (change from sad to angry). Even if I go to the supermarket she call me to check if I’m ok. She doesn’t want to walk without holding my hand. We came from our county 4 years ago. In that moment she was very depressed, not eating, no sleeping. In that moment a psychologist prescribed a medicine (prozac) for almost 6 months. Should I take her to counselling? Should we go to a Child psychologist? Thanks a lot.

1 Answers
Insight Psychological Staff answered 2 years ago

Thank you for contacting us for some support. It is understandable that you would be concerned about how your daughter is feeling based on what you have noticed about her behaviour.

Self-esteem refers to our overall sense of self-worth. Healthy self-esteem in children is important so that they can respond to stress effectively and be successful in life[1]. A child’s self-esteem is influenced by the people they interact with on a regular basis, such as their parents, teachers, relatives, siblings, and peers. When children feel loved and supported by those around them, they develop healthy self-esteem. On the other hand, when a child experiences things such as bullying or is exposed to parental conflict, their self-esteem may be negatively impacted. Children with low self-esteem may be more likely to develop mental health issues[2].

Based on what you have mentioned above, it sounds like the move from your daughter’s home country was a difficult experience for her. Moving to a new culture and adjusting to a new way of life can be quite a stressful experience for any child[3]. The behaviors you described above sound a lot like separation anxiety. Children who struggle with separation anxiety may:

  • Worry about something bad happening to their parents or caregivers when they are not around
  • Have trouble going to school or being in public places without their parents
  • Have a strong fear of being left alone
  • Experience repeated nightmares about being separated from their parents which interferes with their ability to sleep

You may be interested to read more about anxiety in children and youth.

Child counselling can be very beneficial for both children and their parents. By creating an environment where your child feels comfortable and safe to discuss what’s on their mind, a therapist can support your child in understanding their emotions and teach them skills to cope with stressful situations. Your child’s therapist can also help you better understand what exactly is going on for your child and provide you with strategies to best meet their needs. Insight Psychological has a team of highly skilled therapists who specialize in working with children and treating self-esteem issues, depression, and other challenges.

We’d be honoured to support your daughter as she adjusts to this challenging time in her life and to support you as well as you all navigate this together. We wish you the very best.



[1] Hosogi, M., Okada, A., Fujii, C., Noguchi, K., & Watanabe, K. (2012). Importance and usefulness of evaluating self-esteem in children. BioPsychoSocial Medicine, 6(1), 1-6.

[2] Agarwala, S., & Singh, S. (2016). Role of parents and family in the development of self-esteem of children: A behavior modification approach. In S. Agarwala, I. Das & K. Kumar (Eds.,) Health Psychology (pp. 105-120). Allied

[3] Leon, A. L. (2014). Immigration and stress: The relationship between parents’ acculturative stress and young children’s anxiety symptoms. Inquiries Journal, 6(3), 1-5.