Many of the challenges that plague children are the result of low self-esteem. Teenage pregnancy, drug usage, poor grades, fighting, depression, and even suicide can be the result of low self-esteem. A child with high self-esteem will enjoy life more and have a more successful childhood. Children with high self-esteem are likely to grow into adults with high self-esteem.
Grow your child’s self-esteem and confidence:
- Draw attention to your child’s strengths. Let your child bask in the glory of being good at something. Whether your child’s strength is school, throwing a fastball, or playing Go Fish, let them know that you notice how great they are at it.
- Teach your child how to deal with failure. Explain that it happens to everyone and is part of life. Help your child to examine what went wrong in her approach and how to improve. Encourage your child to be persistent until success is achieved.
- Give your child choices. Just be sure to control the options. Suppose your young child is getting dressed for school. Instead of choosing the clothes for your child, allow him to have a few options. Choose a few different outfits and then allow your child to choose between them. You’ll have a well-dressed kid that feels empowered because he chose his own clothes.
- Allow your child to fit in at school. The idea of purple jeans might seem bizarre to you, but if that’s what all the cool kids are doing, let it go. It can be difficult for adults to remember the importance of peer acceptance in high school. Allow your child to fit in.
- Allow your child to struggle a little. It can be hard to resist the urge to provide help at every opportunity. However, it can be great for a child to learn how to deal with struggle. Ensure that the struggle ends successfully! Give your child the opportunity to be successful without parental intervention.
- Be reasonable in your praise. Your 9-year old knows her drawing of a butterfly isn’t the best butterfly the world has ever seen. Instead, offer a comment like, “I love how you used so many colors in the wings.” Be sincere with your praise.
- Allow your child to overhear you complimenting them. For example, the next time you’re on the phone in front of your child, mention something positive about him. He’ll be sure to hear and feel on top of the world.
- Avoid comparing one child to another. All people are individuals. Comments like, “Why can’t you be as neat as your sister?” cause more harm than good.
- Spend time alone with your child. It’s one way of showing that your child is important to you. Your child knows you could be doing a lot of other things, but you chose to spend time with her instead.
- Be encouraging. We all require support from time to time. When your child is struggling, provide encouragement and support. Let them know that they’re not alone. Consider what you would’ve liked to hear as a child and allow that to be your guide.
A child with a healthy level of self-esteem will be happier and perform better in school. As a parent, you have a strong influence over your child’s self-confidence. Making your child feel good about himself is one of your greatest responsibilities. Pay attention to the little things each day, because that’s what your child is doing!
There are countless opportunities to make your child feel better or worse about himself. Be proactive.