Friday, September 30, 2011

Ten Ways to build your child’s self-esteem

Approved by the Parent Center Medial Advisory Board

By: Sarah Henry

Self-worth is important for your child to grasp so that they can feel confident when they set out to try new things on their own.  According to Jane Nelsen a family therapist in California, “Self-esteem comes from having a sense of belonging, believing that we’re capable, and knowing our contributions are valued and worthwhile.”  Our goal is to help build our child’s self-respect, faith in his ability to handle life’s challenges which for preschoolers may just be writing capital letters accurately. 
Ten Strategies to boost your child’s self-esteem

1. Give unconditional Love: This is probably the most important thing you could do. Your child needs to know that he is loved no matter their strengths, difficulties, temperament or abilities. Show them that you love them by giving plenty of cuddles, kisses and pats on the shoulder.    When correcting a child, correct the behavior but not the person.  Instead of saying “you’re a naughty boy!” address the behavior by saying “pushing Gabriel isn’t nice.  It can hurt.  Please don’t push”

2. Pay attention: The most important thing you can do for your child is to give them your time.  By doing so you are sending a message that he is important and valuable to you.  This simply means stopping for a moment what you are doing to talk with them or answer a question.
3. Teach limits: Give reasonable rules for your child.  If you are consistent with your rules, it will help your child feel secure and give them responsibilities.  Show them that you trust them to do the right thing.

4. Support healthy risks: Support your child in trying new foods, finding a pal or riding a bike.  These all have the risk of failure but without risk there’s little opportunity for success.  This includes not taking over when your child shows little frustration when trying to figure out how to do something new.  
5. Let mistakes happen: when he drops his plate on the floor because it was set too close to the edge, help him decide what to do next time to prevent it.  When you make a mistake, admit it.  This will help him learn from his mistakes and learn to accept his own shortcomings.

6. Celebrate the positive: give little encouragements everyday so that they can hear.  This could be telling dad loud enough so that your child can hear that “Joshua washed all the vegetables for dinner.”  When giving encouragements, be specific “thank you for waiting so patiently in line” so that they know exactly what they did correctly. 
7. Listen Well: Your child needs to know that their feeling, desires, opinions and thoughts are important and valued.  Help your child identify their feelings without criticizing them.  This will help them be comfortable sharing their feelings with you.

8. Resist Comparisons: Comparison comments such as “Why can’t you be more like your sister?” causes feelings of shame, envy and competition.  Even sayings such as “you’re the best player” or “ you are so smart” can cause frustration because he can’t live up to your expectations.  Let your child know you appreciate him for the unique individual he is.

9. Offer empathy: Show empathy when your child compares himself unfavorably to siblings or peers, show him one of his strengths.  “You’re right.  Sophia is good at catching.  And you’re good at painting pictures.” This will help him appreciate others for their strengths and that he doesn’t need to be perfect to feel good about himself.

10. Provide Encouragement: Acknowledge progress, not just rewarding accomplishment.  The difference between Praise and encouragement is that praise rewards the task whereas encouragement rewards the person.  Praise causes a child to only feel “good” when they do something perfectly whereas encouragement acknowledges the effort. 

1 comment:

  1. There are various ways to help our kids boost their self-esteem or self-confidence. One good example is what we can read in the article but some parents could not do this. Those parents that are beaten by work could not be able o do the ways stated that is why those parents resort in sending their kids in workshops; programs and other related means so that their kids will become better.