Building Self-Esteem in Children

You always give the best to your child. But what is that one gift that will help make your child happy throughout his life? It is building self-esteem in them, giving them a robust sense of self-worth.

What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem is feeling good about yourself, liking yourself and being content with and proud of who you are.  If you instill self-esteem in children, they will believe in their own unique potential as individuals.

How to develop self-esteem in children?

Value them : The first step towards developing child self-esteem is acknowledging they are good at certain things and ask for their help while doing those. “You are good at math , can you help me count this?” Developing self-esteem in children can also be done by showing them you enjoy their company, “I enjoyed our trip to the mall together.”Listen to them attentively when they tell you something.

Approve of and praise them : Moreover, self-esteem in children improves when you like their ideas. “That was very creative;” and show that you like their choice of friends, “Viraj is a good friend, let’s have him around again soon.” Child self-esteem improves when you think they have done something well.

Spend time with them : Children value you spending time alone with them, both on their terms and yours. “It’s half an hour until dinner. What would you like to play?” or, “Come and talk to me while I clean my wardrobe.”

Show you understand them : You can build self-esteem in children by imagining how they feel about something and telling them how you think it might be tackled, such as, “I know you are upset about your friend not coming to your party, but can we call him up and find out what happened?”

Trust them : Child self-esteem improves with age-appropriate responsibilities such as brushing teeth, getting dressed, arranging school bags etc; this helps in building self-esteem and encourage independence.

Respect them : Also, self-esteem in children improves when you compromise and give them choices to allow some self-determination and autonomy. Your authority is not undermined when you let them win at times. Apologies to them if you know you have been unreasonable.

Be on their side : You build self-esteem in children when you become the last point of refuge. Be the shelter they can hide in. act as a supportive friend who sees their point of view.

Remember, children can value, esteem and love themselves only if you have convinced them that you have valued, esteemed and loved them first.

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