A childs emotional life influences her interpersonal relations, behavior, and learning. The early childhood years are extremely important to a child’s future mental and emotional health. As parents, it is your primary task to help your child develop a strong sense of self and avoid trouble with self esteem concept. This is because you are your child’s primary influence and you make the first major influence on their life. As their first teacher, confidant and friend, you must take your job seriously. You must take the time to mold this little person into one who is full of self esteem. Research has proven that high self esteem lends itself to children who are emotionally stable and academically fit. This article will show you how to help your child develop into a happier and more intellectual person with high self esteem.
How to Improve a Child’s Self Esteem – If you’re like most parents, you realize that your child’s self worth and self-esteem is linked to his/her social and intellectual success. That is, if they feel good about themselves, they do well. Here are some proven ways that you can improve your child’s self worth:
Appreciation and Praise – You need to make your child feel special and appreciated. Spend quality time with him/her and let them feel that they’re special. When the child displays his/her strengths, practice genuine appreciation and you’ll find yourself improving his/her self worth and, hence, self-esteem. When they ask you a question, listen carefully and discuss whatever it is that is on their mind.
Listen to Your Child – Make your children feel important. Do not ignore your child and find time to listen to him/her whenever she needs to communicate with you. Ask open-ended questions that make your child explain her viewpoint at length. It doesn’t matter what time of day or night. Stop and listen to the child when she wants to communicate. Not only are you building self esteem but you’re also developing a great line of communication with your little one. She may just want to share the experience with you and may not be looking for your solution. Helping children to solve his/her own problems will help build your child’s self-esteem.
Developing Problem Solving and Coping Skills – Help your child develop his/her skills to cope with various situations. When faced with difficulties with his/her friends, encourage your child to think of ways to solve the situation. Explore avenues with the child that will help him/her find an answer to the problem. Of course, your child may not be able to find out the solution immediately or every time but at least give them the opportunity to give feedback into the way that he/she will handle problems. These problem solving and decision-making skills will have a direct and positive bearing on your child’s self-esteem and by building self confidence and a sense of worthiness.
Avoid Being Judgmental – Sometimes parents sound judgmental and accusatory, without actually meaning to. This could hamper the child’s self-esteem and close down the lines of communication. Words such as, “You have to try harder”, may sound accusatory to your child when he/she is already trying his/her hardest and is still facing difficulty. So, you could say instead – “I appreciate that you are sticking with this situation and would like to offer my help in assisting you to find a solution that may work for you.” As a parent, you need to involve yourself with your child in trying to help him/her think out the solution. Some parents are guilty of expecting too much or too little from their child. Study each child to determine their capabilities and encourage them to do their best while not expecting too much. False expectations can lead to children living very unhappy lives. On a strong note it could lead to serious depression.
Provide Your Child with Choices – Let your child feel that he/she has some control over his/her life and goals. Research shows that children and adults who are involved in decision making will most likely follow through since they were part of the process. So, always give your children the opportunity of being included in the decision. Ask him what their goals are and how they intend to accomplish them. Be there to give them support as needed. For example, if he/she is having a difficult time with math, hire a tutor if you don’t feel capable of assisting him/her.
Highlight Your Child’s Strengths – Sometimes your child may develop a negative self-esteem as a result of interacting with her classmates. To help your child overcome a negative feeling, highlight your child’s strengths, such as, her skills as an artist or other special skills. Also, make sure you do not compare the siblings to the detriment of one child. This is one sure way to lower the child’s self-esteem. Let them know that we are all different in the way we look and thing and feel. Even though this is true, we are all equal and a no one is better than another. Tell them that different people are different and each one of us have unique qualities that make them special.
Have Realistic Expectations from Your Child – Do not expect your child to achieve goals beyond his/her current capabilities. Having realistic expectations help the child develop self-control, and hence, self-esteem. For example, one child may be a dancer and another may be good at reading. Encourage them to develop their talents and work hard to achieve their “very best.”
As a parent, you have a very important part to play in the development of your child’s self worth. Once the child acquires it, they will be able to live a healthier, happier and better life. You can assist them with this venture by showing them appreciation and praise, listening, helping them develop coping skills, avoiding being judgmental, giving them some control and highlighting their unique strengths.
Learn how you can best influence your child’s self esteem and watch them unleash their full potential and become confident and brilliant individuals.