Healthy self-esteem and confidence is the greatest gift you can give your child. A child that can confidently shake the hand of a new adult acquaintance, express a well-thought idea or opinion in a respectful way are lessons from which many adults could benefit! Healthy self-esteem and self-awareness can lead your child to become a confident, socially interactive and motivated young adult.
Why self-esteem is important
Self-esteem can be thought of as a person’s public comfort with their self worth and value. Self-esteem helps children have a positive image of themselves. Children with good self-esteem usually tend to be highly motivated, easy going with other children and have increased social standing, empathy and compassion.
Positive self-esteem comes from a reasonable understanding of the real accomplishments that have been achieved, resulting in positive self-evaluation.On the other hand, destructive high self-esteem can be based on over-inflated opinions of accomplishments or from a sense of entitlement.
Self-esteem starts to take form in early childhood when a child is surrounded by parents’ love and care almost exclusively. Parents who build a positive environment have a major influence on building positive self-esteem in their children.
So here are a few very simple Yes’s and No’s to address this complex issue:
Yes to encouragement
Encourage your child to achieve goals and congratulate them when they do. If they fall short, credit them with the attempt and try again. Goal setting and participation with your child can do wonders to build a positive and reasonable view of accomplishments.
Yes to remembering what you’ve accomplished
Reference past goals to help accomplish new goals. Show the little go-getter that each goal was once thought impossible until effort, practice and dedication brought an accomplishment. Nothing is for free, you gotta work at it!
Yes to giving grown-up tasks
Ask your child to help in some easy tasks. Show that you treat him like a grown-up! We have our little one clear the dishes from the table, and she has chores like making her bed and vacuuming!
Yes to facing failures
Overcoming first failures together by learning from them! At times, you may have to turn away from being that helping hand so that they accomplish the goal by themselves. If they don’t ‘really’ need help, then let them go!
Yes to sharing interests
Encourage hobbies and share in your kid’s interests. Show them you believe in their work, the results and their effort.
TOP 5 NOs!
No to overestimating
Don’t ask too much. Being forced to face a problem for which they are not prepared can be too much. Level your expectations to their ability or just slightly above.
No to being a dictator parent
Don’t plan every moment of your child’s time. They need free time to accomplish their own challenges and just be kids. Do your part to help them enjoy their childhood.
No to comparing with others
Don’t compare your kid with others. Each child has strengths and weaknesses, no child should be made to feel unworthy because of poor performance.
No to doing everything for them
Don’t dominate and dictate. Add challenges and positive reinforcement when it fits, and let your Little One captain their own ship. Sometimes that means watching them fail in order to learn the right lesson.
No to being a jerk
Challenging a child will naturally result in failures. Your kid might already feel like a failure, they don’t need you piling on. Turn those moments of defeat into a teaching opportunity with a positive ending.
Most of all, let your child enjoy their childhood. You can help steer them into becoming people you will admire for the rest of your lives, but their childhood is their own, make sure they have a chance to enjoy it!
Love rules the day, every day!