HOW TO BOOST YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM
What is self-esteem?
Self-esteem is liking yourself, feeling positive and worthwhile.
Building and boosting self-esteem gives your child the confidence to face the world. A positive sense of self is the greatest gift you can give your child.
You might think that adults have self-esteem issues, kids are happy playing and dancing. But, no.
While growing up, we learn world’s ways and form our sense of self, and these learning stay with us forever. So, it is essential to build a positive outlook at the very beginning.
But before I tell give you tips to boost your child’s self-confidence, let’s begin by a checklist of self-esteem:
Children with self-esteem:
Feel loved and accepted
Do not undermine themselves
Children without self-esteem:
Doubt whatever they say or do
Feel they are not good enough
Or, if you have teens, you can use this quiz- https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/self-esteem-quiz.html
What is the right time to start?
Experts say that the sense of self in a child starts building by 2 years. They start to pick cues from their surroundings and see how people perceive them and especially their siblings.
Nobody is born with a low self-esteem, but still…
“85% of the adults suffer from low self-esteem.”
Says something about the way children are raised and what they experience growing up, right?
So, the right time to start is as soon as the child starts expressing, by showing emotions or speaking. Start by being positive around them. Create a loving and supportive environment in your house. And when they start walking and talking, you can use these tips:
Tips to boost self-esteem:
1. Don’t solve their problems
When you see your child stuck at opening their toy, be patient and them work things out.
If you have a preschooler, it may be faster and easier to dress your child, but letting them do it themselves help them learn new skills and feel confident. Let the child learn from his experience, let the child undergo “experiential learning”.
It's important to allow your kids to grow increasingly more independent: Let them figure out how to talk to teachers about any problems on their own, organize homework assignments, make sure their soccer uniforms are packed and ready, and so on. So-called helicopter parenting undermines kids' abilities to do things on their own and negatively impacts their self-esteem. It also robs them of autonomy.
2. Give them responsibilities
Being responsible for age-appropriate chores gives your child a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Even if they don't do something perfectly, let them know you appreciate their efforts. Praise them for all the things they do well, and reassure them that over time, they'll get better and better at many things, including their chores.
Having chores and responsibilities also gives kids a sense of control over their lives. And in a time when things are unpredictable, having responsibility over small jobs around the house can go a long way in building confidence and resilience.
3. Don’t overpraise
Self-esteem comes from feeling loved and secure. But, over praising leads to false sense of approval. That can stop the growth of the child.
So, by over-praising kids, we’re doing more harm than good. We’re lowering the bar for them. If we keep telling our child that they are already doing a fantastic job, you’re saying this is enough, and they no longer need to push. But confidence comes from doing, from trying and failing and trying again—from practice. This is something we have to learn as adults and then teach our children.
Constant complimenting can actually erode self-esteem. Either kids start thinking they’re perfect or they try to be perfect all the time—an impossible standard. Then as adults, they keep chasing perfection and end up feeling like a failure.
Telling your child, he’s the best, the smartest or the most talented is setting him up for some very bad news down the road.
4. Don’t discourage failure
We underestimate the value of failures. We think, they make us fall, but in reality, we learn only when we fail. As individuals, we might understand this for ourselves, but imagine this-
As a soccer mom, you are with your big group of mothers all excited for their kids to rock on the field. But when our child fails, it is difficult to accept the failure. You might get angry and say thing like, ‘why did you not stop the ball?” or “What is wrong with you?” or even worse, “Why can’t you play?”. These are the most abominable words you can say to your child. This will kill their confidence and even their will to play. That’s the last thing you’d wish for.
So, mommas, accept your child’s failures first. Believe in them, and tell them, “It’s okay dear, you tried your best.” “Sometimes things don’t workout as we want” and the classic, “Try, try, until you get success.”
Read them stories of great people who did not give up on failing. You see, how I asked you not to tell them stories of great warriors? That’s because we don’t want kids to learn that only mythical warriors are strong, we want them to learn that kids like them are strong.
5. Praise their efforts
First, I told you not to praise them, now I am asking you to praise. Am I confused? No.
When your child draws a house, give them positive constructive criticism instead of lavishly praising. But when they get you a glass of water, praise their efforts. This is a balance that we mothers have to strike in parenting.
“Neither be too strict, nor too soft.”
Tell them you’re proud of them when they do the right thing. And in all this, you have to be extremely observant. Let’s imagine-
Two days ago, you asked your child to water a plant every day. And the kid has been sincerely doing it. Now, it’s your responsibility to observe this and praise the kid.
Moreover, offer most of your praise for effort, progress, and attitude. For example: "You're working hard on that project," "You're getting better and better at these spelling tests," or, "I'm proud of you for practicing piano — you've really stuck with it." With this kind of praise, kids put effort into things, work toward goals, and try. When kids do that, they're more likely to succeed.
6. Don’t insult the child
When your child misbehaves or does something that frustrates you, be sure to separate the behavior from your child. You're human—when your child pushes your buttons, you'll probably be irritated or even angry. Experiencing these feelings is completely normal, but don't engage in name-calling or shame your child.
Instead, talk to your child with respect. Don't yell. Take the emotion out of your discipline. A good way to do this is by using natural and logical consequences, and speaking to your child in a pleasant and friendly tone.
7. Work on your own Self-esteem
You cannot teach what you don’t know. So, the last tip for you moms is to first take constructive steps to build your self-esteem and boost your confidence. Set a good example for your child. Sometimes, we don’t need to tell our kids what’s right and wrong, we just have to show them.
Parenting is therapeutic. In caring for your child, you often heal yourself. A mother with a high-need baby in our practice once declared, “My baby brings out the best and the worst in me.” If there are problems in your past that affect your present parenting, confront them. Get psychological help if they are interfering with your ability to remain calm and parent effectively.
A child’s self-esteem is acquired, not inherited. Certain parenting traits and certain character traits, such as anger and fearfulness, are learned in each generation.
Having a baby gives you the chance to become the parent you wish you had. If you suffer from low self-confidence, especially if you feel it’s a result of how you were parented, take steps to heal yourself and break the family pattern
I understand it’s difficult to put on a happy face all the time, but a parent’s unhappiness can transfer to a child. Your child looks to you as a mirror for his own feelings. If you are worried, you can’t reflect good feelings. In the early years, a child’s concept of self is so intimately tied up with the mother’s concept of herself that a sort of mutual self-worth building goes on.
What image do you reflect on your child?
Check your self-esteem- https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/tests/personality/self-esteem-test
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