I sincerely believe that it is far more beneficial and far less costly to help a child build confidence than it is to fix an adult who has little or none.

10 ways to help your child build esteem

on May 22, 2013

family in circleI came across this article on building esteem in children.  It uses the acronym for self-esteem in an interesting way.

Building a child’s esteem is critical to their future development.  Parents are the biggest and most important influence on their child’s life until about the age of 9 when peer pressures start to influence a child’s behaviour.  It is extremely important that parents help their child build esteem in their early years so they will be able to handle life’s difficult situations and be able to make proper choices.  Here are 10 ways that you can help build your child’s esteem:

S Set a good example.  Children look up to their parents and will try to imitate what they do.  We need to be positive role models and start building our own esteem so our children can follow our example and become a confident adult with strong esteem.
E Encourage your child. Children will struggle and fail, but their efforts and feelings need to be acknowledged in a positive way.   Even if they haven’t been successful, let them know that you are proud of them, encourage them to try harder and keep going.
L Love your child unconditionally.  Children need to know that you accept them even if they do something wrong.  Give hugs often.  Studies have proven that human touch is essential for human growth and development.  Hugging is healthy and it boosts security and self-esteem.
F Fill their emotional self with positivity.  Children are naturally negative and have to learn how to be positive.  If they can see things in a positive way, they will deal more effectively with life’s challenges.  Teach them to be kind and help others as   this will be a positive experience for both the person they help and also themselves.
E Empower your child to make good choices.  When decisions need to be made, don’t just tell them what to do, explore the choices with them, give them options and make sure they understand the consequences.  If they do make a bad choice, help them evaluate and learn from their decision.
S Set realistic goals.  Help your child write down their goals in a daily journal, break down larger goals into smaller goals and reward them when they reach a certain point as an incentive to keep going.  Rewards should not be large or costly, just simple things like time spent playing a game, going to a movie or having a special treat.
T Talk to your child and spent quality time with them.  Positive communication between a child and their parent will help develop positive, healthy attitudes.  Listen to your child, try to understand what they are saying and value their thoughts even if you don’t always agree with them.  This will build character and promote independence.
E Energize your child with a healthy lifestyle.  Exercise daily, eat healthy and get sufficient sleep.  A healthy body will result in a healthy mind.
E Explore areas where your child can excel.  What are their interests, abilities, strengths?  Children have   better esteem when they are actively involved in activities they do well and enjoy.
M Make fair boundaries and set realistic rules for your child, then enforce them.    Discipline may be necessary when they cross these boundaries or break the rules, but this is important as it helps them take responsibility for their own actions and also teaches them respect for others.

One response to “10 ways to help your child build esteem

  1. […] 10 ways to help your child build esteem ( […]

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