Boost Your Child’s Self Esteem – The period of childhood from birth until age 8 is extremely important in the development of a child’s cognitive, social, and emotional being. Because the brain is still developing, it’s highly responsive to stimuli of all kinds, negative and positive alike.
While children are remarkably resilient, it’s important that as parents, we encourage them to develop self-reliance and a positive self-image.
In addition to caring for our children physically, protecting them from harm and providing them with the nourishment they need to develop strong bodies, we need to nourish them emotionally as well.
Here are 7 ways you can help your child develop into a self-assured and confident person.
1. Talk About Their Accomplishments (And Their Efforts)
When your child achieves something, even something that seems insignificant to you as an adult, it’s important to let them know that you’re proud.
Children need to learn that their efforts are appreciated even when they don’t result in the best outcome.
2. Let Them Learn from Their Mistakes
While our first impulse is to protect our kids from all harm and comfort them when they’re hurt, at times we need to step back and let them learn on their own.
If your child has been told not to run in the house, but they persist and fall down, give them a moment to experience that pain in the butt. Then go ahead can comfort them, but let them know why this happened.
This builds children’s judgment and helps them form associations between rules and consequences.
3. Encourage Them to Mix with Others
Sheltering your child from other children is a sure way to make them socially awkward and lacking in confidence. Find a playgroup for them to join so they can get used to being around others, encourage them to find friends, and make contacts with other parents to arrange play dates.
4. Don’t Compare Your Child with Other Children
If you have multiple kids, don’t compare them with each other, especially in a negative way.
Instead, point out the gifts that they each have.
This applies to children outside your family, as well: never point out another child’s success to highlight your child’s failure. This will cause them to internalize feelings of inferiority that can last into adulthood.
5. Spend One-On-One Time with Your Kid
The most important predictor of your child’s future relationships is the quality of their relationship with you as a parent. This means you should take time out of your day to spend alone with your kid.
This makes them feel valued and loved, and helps them recognize that they are a person worthy of affection and attention.
6. Don’t Do Everything for Your Children
Kids need to learn independence, and a big part of that comes from doing things for themselves.
While you might be tempted to intervene when your child has difficulty figuring something out, if you let them work it out on their own and then praise them for the accomplishment, they’ll grow up recognizing their own abilities and not be reliant on others to show them the way.
7. Let Your Child Be Unique
Kids love to feel like they are one of a kind. Find the things that set your child apart from others and praise them for them! You want your child to grow up proud of the things that make them unique, not ashamed of their differences from others.