Building Self Esteem In Children

The dos :

  • The first thing to do is to love your children. While this may seem obvious, you have to love your children in a way so that they can feel it. You need to demonstrate your love in a way that they can understand. The fact that you love your children may be obvious to you, but it isn’t always to them.
  • It is important to make them feel that they are lovable, like able and that they are worth caring about.
  • Parents are human so its not going to be possible for you to always give your child positive reinforcement and be kind and patient. However, we often don’t realize it but sometimes when we snap impatiently at our children, we often say things that leave an impression long after we’ve forgotten. Try to keep the put downs to a minimum.
  • When you praise them, don’t be ambiguous and just say that they have been good. Specify exactly what aspect of their behaviour has earned our praise.
  • Listen carefully to what they have to say. Be sympathetic when they have a problem. Don’t brush them off.
  • Encourage them to think for themselves and to do the things that they’re good at.
  • Reward them with your time and attention, not with presents.
  • Spend time alone with them on their terms, not just at your convenience.
  • Give them age-appropriate responsibilities like putting dirty clothes in laundry basket or putting toys back after they’ve played with them.
  • Allow them to exercise their judgement on things like how to make up with a friend or what they want to wear, etc.
  • When they’re trying out something new, don’t hover over them anxiously and offer to help. Let them do things for themselves.

The don’ts :

  • Your child must know that you love him just the way he is. So don’t make your love conditional on good behaviour.
  • When you criticize something that your child has done, make sure that you put it in a way so that he knows that it is his behaviour that is wrong
    and not him. He must realize that you disapprove of his behaviour and not of him.
  • Don’t blame your child for the things you do. Don’t tell him that, If you hadn’t distracted me, I wouldn’t have forgotten about my appointment.
  • When you blame your child, you make him feel guilty and ashamed. Don’t make sweeping criticisms like You’re useless or you’re lazy. The child will think that there is nothing he can do right and he will stop trying.

Children with high self esteem are more likely to believe in themselves and have a sense of importance and self respect. Self esteem affects how your  children will approach new tasks or challenges and how they interact with others. Children with low self esteem may avoid challenging activities or way give up quickly, quit, or cheat when things aren’t going their way. A child with low self esteem may also be a bully, bossy, controlling, have a ow level of self control, and have difficulty making friends.

Children with high self esteem feel a sense of trust, security and feel accepted by others. They understand their own self-worth, have self control and are willing to take on challenging or difficult tasks.To help with building self esteem you can spend lots of time with your children, especially in activities that they enjoy and are good at, and allow them to make some of their own decisions, so they can learn responsibility and can feel that you trust them. Learn to praise your children during adolescence and to pay positive attention to them and teach them how to accept praise for their accomplishments. Avoid criticizing your children too much. Also, do not always rush to rescue your children from frustrating experiences. Instead, try and help them solve the problem themselves.

It can also help boost your children’s self esteem if they feel like they are making a positive contribution to the family.

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