It’s the growing up years that decide the course of the future. No wonder then, that in today’s competitive environment, parents are keen that their children attend all possible classes in order to prepare themselves for all possible exams. However, it’s most important for parents to pause and think about their child’s mental wellbeing. Inertly, human beings are always battling demons of inferiority. Add to that the peer pressure in today’s times, and you may not even realize the battles your child must be facing.
Hence it is all the more important for parents to be able to be receptive and tell when their child’s hit a low esteem. Or else, how can they help the young one come out of it. Self-confidence, after all is the stepping stone to success. To begin with, one needs to understand what exactly is ‘inferiority complex.’ When you search online, it says, “Inferiority complex is mainly a psychological condition that finds its roots in childhood and manifests itself into adulthood, if not recognized at an earlier stage.”
Most clinical psychologists would call inferiority complex as, ‘The common cold of Psychology’. According to Varkha Chulani, a clinical psychologist, inferiority complex causes self-doubt and the person always feels low about not being as good or lacking something in comparison to someone else. “This could be in terms of talents, worldly possessions, anything.” Seema Hingorrany, a psychologist, explains its manifestations, “The key points to note about those who suffer from this complex is that they are very sensitive and often consider themselves inadequate.”
Inferiority complex may affect younger children in terms of the kind of stationery and toys they have to play. In case of teenagers, it may be the clothes, accessories, gadgets, the pocket money they get, and now the way they look. Like with the perfect complexion and ads on TV, women often wish for fairer skin, features and a 10/10 figure, the same way you child may feel inferior about his or her height, or even about marks. In simple words, they feel lacking in some department or the other and affects one’s self-image. However, it’s not enough to be able to simply identify these signs. One needs to understand the cause to be able to help your child come out of it. There are several reasons that could lead to children harbouring an inferiority complex. Read on…
Are you responsible?
According to experts, the most common cause is often negative conditioning by parents, like giving out harsh treatment when the child doesn’t perform upto their expectations. Even constant comparison with other children or citing examples of how some other child is, can lead to it. Instead simply praise that habit or attitude. Don’t use words like, “Look how good mannered he/she is, unlike you. Learn something.” Rather simply say, “That was a nice thing to do.” Or “Just habits always please every body, right?” and leave it at that.
Sometimes, external factors can also lead to such complexes. The most common one is social conditioning, cite experts. In our society, winners are always looked upon, so are those with fair skin or those with money.
Also, it’s a point many miss – the circle of friends/neighbours one creates for themselves and their kids. With middle class means, life can be very content. However, if you are living in a locality were everyone else has a fleet of cars, fly abroad for holidays and send their kids to very expensive schools, then it may not be a right environment for your children.
Helping your child cope
It is very important that parents immediately work on their child’s self-esteem to combat feelings of inferiority complex. In fact parents should inculcate these ideals and attitude irrespective for a child with a healthy self-esteem.
1. For this, parents first need to tune themselves to stop criticizing. Your child needs to know that you love them in spite their performance at school. Encourage them to perform better not by citing other children’s examples, but by telling them how capable they are. 2. Compliment them often on different things. It could be their handwriting, or if they are looking good in a new haircut, or if they’ve fixed something up for you or even if they were well-behaved. Also reward them for their achievements and good deeds.
3. Let them try different extra-curricular activities and encourage them to indulge in their hobbies. This is important, as everyone is good at something that others are not. Your child may just discover his/her brilliant spark this way.
4. In some cases, professional help may be required. Never shy away from taking your child to a psychologist. If your child doesn’t like to go out at all, or hates going to school, or has severe mood swings, bitterness and pettiness, or is submissive and non-confrontational, then seek an expert’s help.