It is often than not easy to notice the difference between children with high, positive self-esteem and lower self-esteem.
It is easy for us adults to notice when children are happy and feel good about themselves and when they don’t.
In psychology, the term “self-esteem” describes a sense of personal worth or value. It also refers to how much you appreciate and like yourself regardless of the circumstances.
Self-esteem is essential for the growth of a child as a person. In this article, we explore how parents may guide their children to build self-esteem in themselves.
Is Self-Esteem in Children That Important?
Studies have shown that self-esteem in children has very much to do with various outcomes in their lives. For example, children with higher self-esteem have shown better social and interpersonal relations and higher levels of coping and academic achievement.
In contrast, children with lower self-esteem often than not have more negative outcomes in their lives.
These include higher rates of social anxiety, depression, teenage pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, suicide, alcohol and drug abuse, loneliness, and alienation, all of the things we do not want anything to do with our beloved children.
For example, it was reported that 75% of girls with low self-esteem were involved in negative behaviors, which include disordered eating, smoking, drinking, and bullying.
So, the answer is yes.
Self-esteem in children is essential. And what is even more important is for parents to take part in helping their children building the needed self-esteem.
8 Ways to Help Your Children Build Their Self-Esteem
Healthy and positive self-esteem are essential in children. It is also beneficial for them both in the short and long runs. Building self-esteem in children starts at home.
In this article, we provide eight practical ways parents can and should help their children build self-esteem in themselves.
1. Loving children without conditions
The first step to building self-esteem in our children is to give them assurance and comfort in knowing that our love as parents for them is unconditional.
- Our love does not come with a condition.
- Our love does not come with a prerequisite.
- Our love for our children will be in the high and low.
When children feel loved and constantly be reminded that they are, they will be confident. No greater power as much as love can provide strength and confidence in someone.
Building self-esteem in children lets them know that you love them through the good and the bad. If all parents think and talk about how good their grades are, or how well they do in sports, children will think of you only for all these superficial things.
2. Let children help around the house
In building self-esteem, children need outlets and opportunities to demonstrate their competence and make something meaningful and valuable. As a child’s self-esteem grows, so does his or her sense of responsibility and competence.
At home, parents may ask help from their children to do house chores.
By assigning children chores like feeding pets, making their beds, setting up the table for dinner, sorting the laundry, and sweeping the floor, parents tell children a special message: they are contributing family members.
Children may participate in helping around the house as early as when they are toddlers. By helping around the house, children see they are successful, influential, and needed, all of which help build their self-esteem.
Despite being beneficial for the household, this will also teach children a sense of responsibility that they will need later in life.
3. Let your child take healthy risks
Another way to help to build self-esteem in children is by letting them take healthy risks in their lives.
To build confidence in the world, children have to take chances, make choices, and take responsibility for themselves. As parents, we need to stop trying to rescue our children from failure all the time.
Parents should start forcing themselves to stand back and let children learn from their mistakes. Parents should begin letting children solve their problems within their age-appropriate capacity.
Children who solve their problems and find solutions to challenges they face tend to have better and higher self-esteem than those who always have help from adults.
4. Praising children when and where it is due
Research has shown that over-praising your children may be doing more harm than the supposed good.
On the upside-down, over-praising children may cause them to have lower self-esteem.
How is that possible?
A constant praising and complimenting can erode self-esteem. By over-praising our children, they will either start thinking that they are perfect, thus breeding narcissistic behavior or trying to be perfect all the time—which is an impossible standard.
Furthermore, inaccurate praise confuses them.
- Children may learn that praise is just flat-out lying when they realize they don’t deserve it.
- Children will not trust their instinct and may not be able to judge themselves accordingly.
- Children may not realize their mistakes and may not even bother to correct them because they are constantly told they are terrific.
As parents, we should help children build self-esteem by delivering realistic praise. Parents may opt for descriptive praise, which explains why children deserve the credit given.
5. Let children help and give back to the community
As much as a sense of worth they feel while helping at home, children may also benefit from the sense of value when they help those in need, including their friends, teachers, and local communities.
Self-esteem grows when children get to see that what they do matters to others.
They can help out teachers and friends at school, do a favor for the uncle or aunty at their local grocery shops, help a lost kitten finding its mum, throwing rubbish found on streets or playgrounds, or getting involved in charity and voluntary works even at a young age.
Helping and kind acts build self-esteem in children and other good feelings. They will motivate children to do better and to strive to be a good person every single day.
6. Encourage children to pursue their interests
Another sure-fire way to boost self-esteem in children is to encourage them to take on tasks they show interest in. Parents should then encourage and guide them to follow through to completion.
What the task is not an important matter. It could be anything - producing arts to passing the piano tests or performing on stage or soccer field.
- What matters is for them to finish what they started.
- What matters is for them to stick till the end.
- What matters is for them to achieve their goals.
Parents must teach children to work towards a goal and to have pride in their accomplishments. Children must be provided with opportunities for success.
When children pursue their interests and pursue them till completion, they will feel that sense of achievement. This sense of accomplishment, in turn, helps to build self-esteem in themselves.
7. Be a good role model
As anything goes, everything starts with you as a parent.
In teaching and building self-esteem in children, parents should be the first ones to do the same to themselves. Parents should value and appreciate themselves first before asking children to do the same.
When parents put effort into daily, mundane tasks, they set good examples for children to follow. Children will learn to put effort into minor things, such as doing homework, cleaning up toys, or feeding the pets.
Modeling the right attitude counts too. When parents do tasks without complaints and doing them cheerfully, children learn to do the same. Children will learn that tasks are not burdens.
Children will also learn to take pride in a job well done when parents do the same, increasing their self-esteem.
8. Let children make their own choices
As parents, it is only natural for us to protect our children by making choices and decisions. But at times, parents should step back and let children decide for themselves.
When children make their own age-appropriate choices, they feel more powerful. When children are given the ability to make decisions, they will have a stronghold of their lives.
Having control of lives helps to build self-esteem in children. As parents, our job is to guide them, not to dictate. Children will have better self-esteem when they learn that their opinions matter. To teach this, parents may start as small as letting children pick their clothes.
As parents, it is tempting to want our children to look good and pleasant at every moment, yes. But at some times in your life as a parent, you need to stand back for a moment and decide on what truly matters; temporary temptation or a life-long lesson for your children.
At Cute Rascals, we are always committed to empowering kids and boosting their self-esteem and confidence through our unique and diverse clothing lines.
Parents always want the best for their children, and the best is the only thing we have ever known of.
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