Impostor Syndrome In Children

by 17th September 2020

Impostor syndrome tends to occur most often in adults, and in my previous blog, I touched on the fact that approximately 70% of impostor syndrome sufferers are women.

A child experiencing impostor syndrome is not unheard of, however. And it can be very traumatic for both the child and parents observing what their child is going through.

Impostor syndrome is a programme that we are running internally. A child with impostor syndrome is rarely satisfied with obtaining good grades and/or is constantly anxious about the next challenge. Sadly, they believe he/she is only as good as the next or current challenge, and past grades and success become meaningless. This, unfortunately, results in their entire self-worth hinging on avoiding a failure, which causes high levels of anxiety.

As parents, the most important thing you do is to praise your child for what he/she has achieved or when they show positive traits. Give your children love and make them feel acknowledged, wanted and appreciated. If you see your child acting out of kindness, praise their actions. If your child plays team sports and they assist in their team’s success, impress upon them how helped to achieve that and that you are so proud they can play as a team. If your child comes home and has done well in a subject or gotten a positive grade, demonstrate to them how impressed you are with the hard work and dedication they committed.

Another positive reinforcement is recalling a significant story about your child when they were young. Examples: The story of how they found a baby rabbit and nursed it back to health or how they stood up to a nursery bully that was attacking one of their friends. These stories reaffirm to your child how they care, are a good and strong person, and helps with their sense of self. If your child remembers how they were compassionate when younger, it is easier for them to be compassionate in the now.

Correcting behaviour at home and at school is another way of safeguarding against impostor syndrome. Instead of telling the child not to be frustrated, tell them that you understand why they are feeling frustrated and get it, but how you want them to channel that frustration in a more positive way, and not to act out negatively. Always accept the way your child feels and correct the behaviour that they expel in reaction. to this feeling. As parents, we are helping the child to identify and regulate the negative emotions in a healthy way by holding the child accountable for their actions. This is very important because shaming a child, or belittling their feelings, does affect their sense of self-worth, self-esteem, and results in a lack of confidence in later life. Most importantly of all, remind your child how much you love them for who they are, and aren’t disappointed in them for tasks that they are unable to do or subjects that they may not excel in naturally. This will go to some lengths to play the impostor syndrome down.

Remember to say to your child regularly, “I love you.”

As a parent, it is worth remembering that when your child starts something new, whether that be a new school, college, university, subject, skill etc, it is completely normal to experience self-doubt and anxiety. Utilising the above strategies will help to boost your child’s sense of belief before they reach adolescent years when identify formation puts a strain on their self-esteem. This helps to strengthen your child from the inside and out. Instead of parents solely focusing on the success in the outside world, this way of doing things will be empowering and healthy for the development and growth of your child.

Are You Concerned About Impostor Syndrome In Your Children?

Have you or your children been affected by the issues discussed in this article? Are you, as a parent, concerned about impostor syndrome in your children? I can help.

Click the button below to contact me today, to discuss how I can help you to help your children overcome impostor syndrome.

About Karen Baughan

Karen Baughan is an NLP Master Practitioner based in Bromsgrove, UK. Having used NLP to affect her own personal transformation, she now helps clients, from around the world, to transform their lives and achieve their dreams.

Start Getting Results Today!

Are you tired of feeling tired; fed up of feeling fed up? Do you feel like, no matter what you do, it never works out? Do you want to feel, finally, free of your fears and the things that are holding you back? Do you want to transform your life and start living the life of your dreams?

Get in touch today and find out how Karen can help you to start achieving the results you want.