How You Can Help Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem

Is self-esteem important?

Self-esteem can be described as a person’s overall sense of self—a person’s overall sense of his or her value or worth. In other words, it’s a sort of measure of how much you appreciate and like yourself. Is self-esteem important? Yes. It’s important.

Self-esteem plays a crucial role in how you see yourself. It helps determine how motivated are you to succeed at anything that you do, be it school or work, or even life.

So, when a child has a positive sense of self, s/he feels loved; and happily, s/he grows up into a happy, productive adult.

While it’s true that you can’t possibly stop your child from judging herself—comparing themselves to their peers at some point in their lives, there are however ways you can provide support. To help build your child’s positive self-image as s/he grows, consider these dos and don’ts.

Dos

a) Let Them Make Choices

When we let them make choices, we empower them. For example, let them decide what to eat during dinnertime or breakfast. Allowing them to make simple choices helps prepare them for the more difficult choices s/he faces in the future as s/he grows.

b) Let Them Know No One Is Perfect

Let them know that no one is perfect. Even you. As a parent, isn’t perfect. And explain that you don’t expect them to be. The way you respond to his/her mistakes determines how your child will react and see themselves.

c) Give Them Age-Appropriate Responsibility

Give them some tasks as simple as setting the table, closing the windows, folding laundry, doing dishes or washing the car. Doing this helps increase their feelings of being competent.

d) Schedule Some Alone Time With Your Child

Find time to spend one-on-one time with your child. This is a great way to talk about what’s on their minds. Not to mention that it also helps cement the bond between the two of you.

Don’ts

a) Don’t Offer Insincere Praises

Be sincere when offering praises because kids are good at detecting baseless and fake praises. Be specific in your compliments. For example, if you want to compliment your child’s drawing, talk about the drawing.

b) Don’t Draw Comparison Between Your Children

Never, never do this. Ever. Every child is unique. Child A may not be good at maths but s/he good at arts. Child B may not be very good at arts but s/he good at maths. Appreciate their individuality. Empower them to strive to do their best at what they’re best at doing.

c) Don’t Do Everything For Your Child

It’s faster if I do it myself, you thought. Be patient. Let your child work things out for themselves. Letting them decide and work things out themselves helps them learn new skills. And, the more s/he meets new challenges, the more confident and competent s/he will feel.


References

Finello, K., & Finello, K. (n.d.). Dos and don’ts for raising a confident kid. Retrieved from https://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/development/social/boost-your-childs-self-esteem/

Lyness, D. A. (Ed.). (2018, July). Your Child’s Self-Esteem (for Parents) – Nemours KidsHealth. Retrieved from https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/self-esteem.html

Myers, R. C. (2019, June 25). 11 tips on building self-esteem in children. Retrieved from https://www.todaysparent.com/family/parenting/how-to-build-your-childs-self-esteem/

Building Your Childs Self-Esteem: Childrens Hospital. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.chp.edu/for-parents/health-tools/parent-resources/parenting-tips/building-your-childs-self-esteem

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