It’s Up to Parents to Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem

Children with high self-esteem often grow up to be capable and independent adults. Self-worth is something that is built over a lifetime. Children learn self-esteem from the earliest days of life and parents are the first real influence in a child’s world. When a parent responds to their needs and treats them with care, they learn that they are special and loved.

Parents should begin encouraging their children to be self-confident at a very young age. When our children are toddlers we begin to discipline them as we prepare them for life. Quite often parents forget to offer positive reinforcement as well. Saying things such as “good job” or “thank you for picking up your toys” can be forgotten. They may seem to be insignificant at times but they can mean a world of difference to a child. On the flip side, a parent shouldn’t offer insincere praise or unearned flattery. This will be confusing to the child and this may cause them to doubt all of the positive feedback they receive.

The more a child is told they are doing a good job the more then tend to believe it. Though children of all ages go through times of self-doubt, your words will stay with them when they are faced with challenges down the road. Self-esteem will help children better handle school, peer pressure and will allow them to make mistakes without fear. Children learn from mistakes and self-esteem can be the difference between dwelling on those mistakes and picking oneself up and move on.

There are many things you can do to help your child build a solid sense of self-esteem. Always offer your child verbal praise. Never use belittling words when you have to discipline the child, instead find positive ways to let them know they have to modify their behavior. Positive self-esteem also gives children the incentive to look on the bright side. They are less likely to dwell on the mistakes they make and more likely to look for solutions. With a strong self-worth they face the challenges of life head on.

Lead by example. Children see their parents in every aspect of life and often emulate what they see. If their parents are strong and secure in the sense of who they are, the child is likely to try and mimic this. Let you child see you in some weak moments and let them see how you handle them. Every parent should foster family togetherness. Along with seeing your example, this will give the child a support structure they know they can rely on.

If your child is of toddler or preschool age, ask them to help you with simple household chores. Things such as feeding a pet or holding the dustpan for you can do wonders for their self worth. They feel as if they are contributing to the household and that they are useful and important. Be sure to let them know they did a good job.

Encourage your child to participate is school and social activities. Sports, music, dance, clubs, charity work, and drama productions all help build a sense of accomplishment that translates into greater self-worth. Teach your child how to make goals for themselves and encourage them to reach them.

Allow your children to work things out for themselves before you offer suggestions. If they are having conflict with friends or siblings try not to interfere. They will never feel self-confidence if they cannot handle problems on their own. If they automatically come to you, suggest to them that they try to work it out on their own first.

Children should be encouraged to cultivate their own interests outside of the family. Encourage them to be independent and to respect themselves. Children and adults who respect themselves will demand respect from others and are less likely to be taken advantage of in the long run. Children with high self-esteem are less likely to be bullies or to be bullied. Bullies often seek out others to belittle. This in turn makes the bully feel better about himself. A child with his self-respect is also less likely to take the abuse of a bully because they respect themselves enough to know better.

Teach your children to laugh at themselves and to never take themselves to seriously. People who take themselves too seriously won’t be taken seriously by anyone else. Show your children by example that laughter is good for the soul and good for the mind. Another important thing you can do for your child is to remind them that you love them. Let them know they always have a place to call home and there is someone who is always there for them. They will go off into the world, make mistakes, and move on to try again. There is no greater gift you can give them.

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