Ways to Develop Your Child’s Self-Esteem
Your child's self-esteem lays the groundwork for her future. What she feels about herself dictates her grit, her appetite for trying new things, and her ability to gauge her strengths and weaknesses. A child with great self-esteem can resist peer pressure and walk her own way.
Self-esteem, however, isn't something that grows as naturally as your child's body. It has to be kept and nurtured with the right words and care.There are so many ways that things can go wrong when dealing with your child. One careless action, or one thoughtless message can damage his self-image and undo a lot of your nurturing.
Azza's Child Psychology shares some tips to help you grow your child's self-esteem:
1. Begin with Respect
Developing your child's sense of self-worth begins with your acknowledgement of his or her personhood. Once you establish that your child has his own mind and that he is an individual who is worthy of your respect, nurturing those aspects won't be so difficult or haphazard.
2. Give Due Attention
There's something about human attention that allows growth. Pay attention to a plant and it will sprout. The same principle applies to children; if you give them time and your undivided attention, you will see them flourish right before your eyes.
3. Allow for Mistakes
Teaching children that mistakes don't mean it's the end of the world gives them courage and helps them learn the value of persistence. According to positive psychology, grit, or the ability to stand up and try again, is an indicator of success. It is also important for them to make mistakes early on while it's still cheap to do so rather than wait for bad things to happen when they're older and when these errors tend to be costlier.
4. Your Words Matter
Remember that you are everything to your children and therefore what you say will carry more weight than what they hear from others. Praise, when properly earned by your child, goes a long way into bolstering their self-image. Be always mindful of what you say and when you criticise, criticise the action and not the person.
5. Make the Child Set Goals
There's a thrill in pursuing and a sense of achievement in meeting goals. Teach your child goal-setting and make them go after realistic goals in order to prop their self-esteem. Make them do chores around the house and give them an associated goal for that task. For example, ask them to vacuum the living room two times a week. Change and vary the quantity and quality targets for the goals.
6. Let Them Go through Experiences
When you give your child a wealth of experiences, you are giving them a cache of intangibles that will serve them well later in life. Going out to the beach or taking them to the zoo to make them see wild animals makes their world larger.
7. Show Unconditional Love
Letting your children know that you accept them for who they are and you love them unconditionally will help them gain courage to be themselves. Knowing that their parents love them establishes the fundamental belief that they are persons worthy of being loved. This serves as a core for building their self-worth as individuals.