It is essential for children to have self-esteem to achieve success in life. They are more likely to succeed in school and attain personal goals when they feel confident. They learn to face challenges as they get older and withstand peer pressure. More importantly, having a positive self-image helps a child to feel happy and able to maintain personal relationships.
Building the self-esteem of children is a continuing component of parenting. The children learn to respect themselves when the parents show a respectful attitude towards the young ones. And when parents talk about their feelings, kids learn how to share their feelings with others.
Most parents unknowingly build or destroy self-esteem in children. They do not realize that their words and actions have a great impact on how their children feel about themselves. Here are some suggestions to keep in mind in order to build self-esteem in children:
When you feel great about your child, voice out your feeling. Parents are often quick to express negative feelings to children, but somehow they don’t get around to voicing out their positive feelings. Practice saying encouraging words to your kid.
Praise your child when they are doing something well. You might say, “I really like the way you have put back the toys in the box after playing.” You might say, when you watch them show a skill, “That last song that you have just sung was fantastic. You’ve got a lot of musical talent.”
Praise your child in the presence of family or friends. For example, “You are such a kind boy! I loved the way you picked your friend up when he fell down.” You can even praise a child for something he didn’t do like “I really liked how you accepted my’ no’ answer and didn’t throw a tantrum.”
Psychologists have observed that the most common reason for underlying depression and anxiety is negative self-talk. Therefore, teaching kids to be positive about how to “speak to themselves” is essential. Teach them to say, “I believe I can do it / I’m great at drawing / I’m good at making friends”.
Avoid criticism that will make your child feel embarrassed or ridiculed. Sometimes a child needs to be criticized, and parents should do so. However, if the criticism is directed at the child as a person, it can easily deteriorate into ridicule or shame. Comment on the misdeed and how it makes you feel rather than attacking the child verbally. For instance, you might say, “ Oh how terrible that you broke my beautiful vase!” rather than saying, “What a horrible careless girl you are to break my vase!”
In criticizing, use “I statements” instead of “You statements.” For example, state, “I want you to keep your books in the right place in your cabinet and not spread all over your room;” instead of stating, “Why are you such a lazy, untidy slob?”
Most parents worry that praising children too much will spoil them. Yet as a children’s self-esteem grow, so does their sense of responsibility and competence. Giving them small duties and tasks and praising them when they complete the chores, makes children feel valued and special.
The manner in which parents communicate with their children impacts the sort of individuals they become. Caring parents who express their affection helps to boost the feeling of self-worth of their children. Children learn to think good about themselves and love others. When parents develop the self-esteem of their children, a basis is set for a powerful, caring connection.