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One of the interesting aspects of human behavior is that it is often found that different emotional and behavioral patterns tend to run in families. The same is often true when it comes to self-esteem levels. Unfortunately, parents who are not self-aware often create low self-esteem in their own children without the slightest idea that they are doing it or that they themselves suffer from low self-esteem. In this article, I will discuss some ways that parents create self-esteem issues in their children, which are often overlooked.

Most parents are blissfully unaware of how children’s emotional development works and what their role is in it. Parents often have self-esteem issues that they are not aware of and have faulty behavior patterns that then create low self-esteem in their own children. Two of these low self-esteem behaviors are self-absorption and manipulation.

own absorption

One of the ramifications of having low self-esteem tends to be a self-absorbed person. It makes sense if you think about it because if a person doesn’t feel great about themselves then most of their energy is needed just to focus on themselves to get by day to day. It usually takes someone with pretty good self esteem to show interest in others and have that extra energy to put into other people. If a parent is self-absorbed and shows no interest in the details of a child’s life, whether the parent realizes it or not, the child is affected by it.

The development of a child’s self-esteem when he is young is directly related to the amount of time and energy that parents spend showing how important the child is. However, if the father is never around or when he is around he is busy doing other things, then the child feels useless. Imagine a father who comes home from work and instead of spending time with his son, sits in front of the television and barely recognizes his son, let alone spends focused time asking him to tell him about his day or showing genuine interest in him.

This child, in essence, feels that his father places the ‘value’ of the television he is watching above him. After all, if the son was that important, his father would spend time talking and playing with him and not be glued to the TV, right? Multiply this by years and you have the characteristics of a child with self-esteem issues who now goes out into the world feeling ‘unimportant’.


Another unhealthy pattern of behavior that is widespread in many families is that of the narcissistic parent who essentially manipulates his child for his own emotional gain. In a healthy family, parents need to be mature and self-aware enough to recognize that their child has certain emotional development needs and that the parents provide that support and attention to the child. But what if the father is needy and immature? So you have a reverse dynamic. In this case, the child, far from gaining the attention and self-esteem that comes with feeling important, is actually in a position where he or she is forced to pay attention to the parent or do the parent’s bidding in order to indirectly gain the attention and value of the parent.

We see this in families, for example, where an immature mother pushes her child into show business for her own vicarious needs rather than what is actually healthy for the child. We also see this in the father who might push her son into sports, even if he doesn’t want to, to live out his fantasies or get attention in some indirect way. Both are manipulations that can damage the child’s self-esteem. Both parental manipulation and self-absorption are cases where parents with low self-esteem create low self-esteem in their own children. This must be identified and avoided to avoid the generational continuation of low self-esteem in families. For more great articles on self-esteem and human behavior, visit

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