How to build your child’s self esteem. Self-esteem is about liking who we are, and how we value ourselves. It is how we perceive our value to the world and how valuable we think we are to others. Self-esteem affects our trust in others, our relationships, our work, and nearly every part of our lives.
For children, it comes from knowing that they’re loved, accepted, secured and that they belong to a family that values them. It’s often been said that children learn what they live. So if you’re looking for a place to start helping your child build positive self-esteem and self value, then you should show them your positive sense of self and strong self-esteem. Be positive when you speak about yourself and highlight your strengths. This will teach your child that it’s okay to be proud of their talents, skills and abilities.
“Self-esteem is your child’s passport to a lifetime of mental health and social happiness. It’s the foundation of a child’s well-being and the key to success as an adult. At all ages.” Ask Dr. Sears
Your child also benefits greatly from honest and positive praise. Find something about them to praise each day. You could even give your child a task you know they can complete and then praise them for a job well done after they’re finished. Give her/him compliments as often as possible. Whenever they do something right, you can say: “I am very proud of you”, “you are very special”, or “I like the way you have done it”. Show your child that a positive act merits a positive praise.
When your child’s feeling sad, angry or depressed, communicate openly, honestly and patiently with them. Listen to them without judging or criticizing. They may not fully understand why they feel the way they do, so the opportunity to communicate with you about it may be what’s needed to help them sort through a difficult situation. Suggest positive behaviours and options as solutions, and make sure to leave that door of communication open so they know the next time they feel badly, they can come to you for help and know that you won’t judge or punish them for how they’re feeling.
“Discipline is helping a child solve a Problem. Punishment is making a child suffer for having a problem. To raise problem solvers, focus on solution not retribution.” ― L.R. Knost
Teach your child a sense of purpose, the importance of setting goals and developing a plan to meet that goal and complete that task. Your child should have goals that give him/her purpose and direction and an avenue for channelling his/her energy toward achievement and self-expression. Small projects are the best to start off with in the beginning. Ensure that it’s an appropriate task for your child, and not too complex. Don’t only give praise at the end of the project, but praise their accomplishments during the project as well.
“Self-esteem is the real magic wand that can form a child’s future. A child’s self-esteem affects every area of her existence” ― Stephanie Marston
Give your child a sense of responsibility, a chance to show you what he/she is capable of doing. Let him/her to engage in tasks without being checked on all the time. This shows trust on your part, a sense of letting go.
Be proud of your child, and let her/him know that how proud and fortunate you are to be her/his parents. Never compare your child to others saying, “Why aren’t you like Mary?” And when others make such comparisons, make sure that your child knows she/he is special and unique in her/his own way.
Most importantly, tell your child “I love you” each and every day. Show love and affection to your child many times throughout the day, in fact. All our dealings with our children, starting from infancy, should be done with a lot of affection and love. A baby who is dealt with love and affection will get a subconscious feeling that she/he is worthy and important enough to be loved. When they’ve behaved badly or have done something negative, remind yourself that it’s not them you don’t like, only their behaviour. Criticize their actions, not them, say to your child, “You are such a good and special child, you should not be engaging in such an activity,” instead of saying, “you are a bad child”. Tuck short, sweet and loving notes in their lunchboxes or coat pockets, or even send them a card in the mail. Soon, they’ll learn to say “I love you” just as easily and honestly in return.
“Parents are provided with a unique, never-to-be-repeated opportunity to set up a “self-esteem bank account” in which the child will store many positive things about him or herself. In the years and decades to come, this “bank account” will balance out negative experiences, which are unavoidable”.