Shame on children, tricks to overcome it

Shame is an emotion that we all have experienced at some point. Around two years of age, children begin to experience shame, it is normal and natural that at first we should not be too alarmed. It is important to provide children with resources to overcome shame and nurture their self-esteem so that they are able to cope with situations that cause them to blush.

Children of that age begin to become aware of the opinion of others, and since they have not yet fully formed their criteria, nor their self-esteem, they need positive opinions and are ashamed of the possibility of doing something that deserves a negative opinion. However, in some cases, either because of a more introverted temperament, or because of not treating well the shame of the child, shyness can become extreme and become a problem.


Shame can paralyze them and become an obstacle to achieve their goals can be extended to adulthood. Treating the subject naturally, without pressing or forcing our children is very useful to allow effective emotional management.

What is shame and how is it manifested

Shame is a natural emotion of human beings. The shame is based on a negative evaluation of the self by the person and arises from the fear of receiving that evaluation from others. Shame is the fear of being judged negatively by others, the fear of negative opinions and thoughts about one's own person.

The feeling of shame provokes a need to disappear, to hide and become invisible, in a desperate attempt to hide from others, to avoid negative criticism.


Shame on children

Children begin to experience shame around two years of age. In this age you are already aware of your own self and need positive opinions from others. They are forming their self-concept and their self-esteem, and for that they rely on the opinions of others that come to them as the image that reflects a mirror.

Shame begins at this age and accompanies us throughout our lives. Shame is natural and as all emotions have an adaptive function, in this case protect our self. It is not bad to experience shame, it is natural. However, when this shame is too intense and interferes with the child's daily life, this is a problem to which we must pay attention.

How can we help children overcome shame?

It is essential to help children overcome their shame, in this way we free them from the fear of others' opinions and allow them to be without fear. Let's see how we can do it:


1. Shame is fueled by low self-esteem and low confidence. Therefore, the higher the self-esteem and the lower the confidence will be the shame. The first step in getting children out of embarrassment is to nurture their self-esteem and confidence.

2. Provide the child with a self-adjusted image, so that in this way you can create a positive self-concept. Beware of criticism and comparisons, avoid doing them.

3. Praise their achievements, In this way, little by little you nourish your self-esteem.

4. Treat your failures and / or errors naturally. Failure is natural and should not be cause for shame, show your love and support in their mistakes.

5. Do not force the child, or press him when he feels ashamed, you will create an unnecessary and counterproductive tension. Instead, treat the situation naturally and encourage him to face the situation little by little.

6. Avoid overprotecting them and try to face them alone to different social situations.

Celia Rodríguez Ruiz. Clinical health psychologist. Specialist in pedagogy and child and youth psychology. Director of Educa and Aprende.
Author of the collection Stimulate the reading and writing processes

Video: How to Deal with Embarrassment


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