How to build your child’s self-esteem
What is self-esteem?
Children’s self-esteem circulates around either feeling good about themselves or not.
Children with good self-esteem often feel confident, accepted, loved, believe in themselves and their capabilities, and remind themselves of their good characteristics. On the other hand, children with poor self-esteem and harsh on themselves, always criticize themselves, feel like they are always less competent compared to others, focus on their failures rather than their success, are not so confident, and do not often believe in themselves and their capabilities.
Good self-esteem boosts the kids’ curiosity and eagerness to explore new things and learn more. They are more likely to cope with their mistakes and failures and learn from them to succeed, unlike kids with poor self-esteem. That is one of the reasons why kids with higher self-esteem are better at school, at forming and maintaining friendships and coping better with obstacles. Kids with poor self-esteem focus on how they do not want to show up with a “bad” image in front of everyone. Thus, their focus on their success and improvement diverts and deteriorates.
How can you build self-esteem?
Self-esteem is mainly built out of unconditional love, support, acceptance, and safety.
Whenever kids explore and learn new things, their self-esteem grows. For example, learning new things at school, succeeding at coding, making new friends, participating and answering, being kind to other people, being skilled or having a hobby, getting praised and supported, being happy and enjoying activities, and so many other examples.
What can you do as a parent?
Firstly, any low self-esteem from underlying problems can be boosted and improved.
- Kids are always growing up and learning new things day by day, more than adults do. From standing up, to walking, to talking, to learning and understanding, to holding a ball, to kicking a ball, to reading, to getting dressed. These small lessons are big to those little ones. Helping them learn new stuff, while you are constantly supporting them is a beneficial way to boost their self-esteem. When helping them, make sure the kids are learning, do not do something instead of them if they can do it themselves. Let them challenge themselves into succeeding.
- In addition, a secret self-esteem booster is PRAISING. However, praise appropriately. Do not praise the outcome, rather, praise their effort. For example, instead of saying “Oh great! You got a 90/100 on your exam!”, say “Oh great! You studied so well you’re getting better grades!”. Always praise, indicate the reason of the praise, and a little physical affection. Also, praise their good behaviors whenever you can and encourage them about it.
- Modeling is essential for children to learn their responsibilities and become independent. Independence boosts self-esteem. It defers between doing chores with an angry attitude and doing chores cheerfully (or at least without complaining every second in front of them). That’s how children learn to do their homework, tidy up their games, and help out later on at home without feeling that these responsibilities are overwhelmingly tiresome.
- If the kids do not want to help out, do not criticize them harshly and negatively, it might affect their self-esteem without knowing. Try to be patient and say what you want to say smoothly. Challenging them is a good way to make them do what they have to do, saying, “I bet you cannot do this”.
- Try to focus on their strengths instead of weaknesses.