10 secrets to building your child’s self-esteem
Every individual needs a healthy sense of self-esteem to navigate this world. However, figuring out how to instil confidence in a child is not always easy but it is achievable. In this article, you will find 10 secrets that will help you build your child’s self-esteem. They are surprisingly simple and can make a world of difference in the way he or she sees herself, and handles everyday situations.
You Have to Be Generous with Your Affection
In order to feel secure and confident, your child needs to know that he/she has your unconditional love and support. Build that all-important support system through affirmations of your affection. Be clear that your love is not based on his/her success and it will not change as a result of a failure. Your child will then have the confidence to tackle new challenges without worry.
Praise Your Child’s Efforts, Not Accomplishments
When you overly praise your child for accomplishments but ignore the effort made to get there, you are sending the message that the end result is the only thing that matters. Showing children you are proud of them for trying their best places the emphasis where it needs to be: on their efforts.
Always Pay Attention: It seems simple, but taking the time to listen to your child when she speaks lets her know that you are truly interested in her life. Knowing that you value her opinion and are there to support her makes it easier for your child to approach new situations with confidence.
Support Healthy Risks: Every instinct a parent has goes against allowing a child to do something that you are sure will end in failure. However, it is important that you allow your child to make certain decisions on her own and support healthy risks. Knowing that you are there to help him or her get back up and try again gives your child strong self-esteem. This will enable your child to continue taking those risks, which are essential parts of growing up.
Instil Respect for Limits and Boundaries: Part of a strong sense of self-esteem is a feeling of security and support. This usually comes from having a clear understanding of the boundaries and limits within which your child is expected to operate. When your child knows what is and is not expected of her, she is able to confidently navigate acceptable situations more, rather than approach them with trepidation because she’s not sure if they are within the boundaries you have set for her.
Let Your Child Make Mistakes: Failure may not seem like an effective tool for helping your child to build self-esteem, but it is actually quite important to learn from these. This will help your child to build a pool of experiences that he or she can rely on for future decisions. Mistakes breed wisdom, and that knowledge allows your child to be confident when faced with a similar situation in the future.
Avoid Comparisons: Even if you are trying to build your child up by comparing her to another, it is never a good idea to draw comparisons between siblings or those within her peer group. Your child needs to know that she is accepted and loved for who she is, not because she is out-performing another child or in spite of the fact that she is not as “good” as another.
Set Goals Together: When a goal is set and subsequently reached, there is a sense of accomplishment that does more for a person’s self-esteem than any kind words or flattery ever could. The same holds true for children. Helping your child set new goals and supporting her as she reaches them is a powerful confidence booster.
Validate Her Feelings: Failure, mistakes and conflicts are integral experiences when it comes to building up knowledge and learning lessons, but that doesn’t mean that they are not hurtful. Telling your child that she should not be upset because she “only lost a game” or “had a tiny fight with a friend” minimises her feelings, making her wonder if they are appropriate. Validating her feelings by letting her know that you are aware of how she feels and that it is okay to feel that way as long as she learns how to handle similar situations in the future, can turn those negative situations into a learning experience.
Model Confident Behaviour: Your child learns more about how to interact with the world from watching and emulating the adults she loves and trusts than anything else. If you are plagued by low self-esteem and are not confident in your ability to manage things, your child will mimic that behaviour. In order to boost your child’s self-esteem, make sure that you’re working on your own.
Building your child’s self-esteem starts with you. Your child learns more about how to interact with the world from watching and emulating the adults she loves and trusts than anything else.