Factors affecting children’s self esteem:
- How much the child feels wanted, appreciated and loved
- How your child sees himself, often built from what parents and those close say
- His or her sense of achievement
- How the child relates to others
Your child’s self esteem can be increased by you:
- Appreciating your child Telling your child that you love them
- Spending time with your child
- Encouraging your child to make choices
- Fostering independence in your children
- Giving genuine importance to your child’s opinion and listening
- Taking the time to explain reasons
- Feeding your child with positive encouragement
- Encouraging your child to try new and challenging activities
Appreciating your child: A child’s self esteem will suffer if he or she is not appreciated. Children know if you are sincere or not. If you spend time together you must enjoy or there is no point. Show appreciation at all times. Tell your child you love him or her – this is appreciation. Thanking a child when he does something good is reward enough. Children like to please.
Encouragement : Esteem is boosted with your encouragement. Encourage decision-making……this will lead to a feeling of confidence and independence.
Praise: Self esteem comes from what you think about yourself, praise is external. I do not agree entirely with some who say praise creates kids addicted to it and then needing praise to feel good. Encouragement is better than praise. I was often told “could do better” and this lead me to feel no matter what I did it would not be good enough to please others.
Mutual respect: Children’s self esteem will be higher if you treat him or her seriously and with respect. Explain to the child everything and treat him as an intelligent individual able to understand and reach conclusions. You want to be treated like this and children are no different. A child who is belittled, patronized or put down will suffer lack of confidence. Mutual respect will foster trust and confidence.
Dealing with failure: If the child fails he must not feel a failure. Teach a child failure doesn’t exist, only temporary setbacks on the road to success. Never tell a child he has failed, let you down or cannot succeed. Be a mentor and help the child to believe in his or her ability to succeed no matter how long it takes!