Self-esteem is an individual’s assessment of himself, but this often gets shaped by how he thinks others perceive him. Every parent should care about instilling self-esteem in children since it enables them to face society with full confidence.
It also allows them to mingle with friends and excel in academics as well as extracurricular activities, besides scripting their future interactions and relationships. Here are a few ideas on simple ways in which you can improve your child’s self-esteem.
Simple Ways to Improve Your Child’s Self Esteem
A Smile Can Create Wonders
Smile at your child whenever he looks up to you because a smiling face makes your child feel warm, loved and cared-for. When you frown, give a cold stare, probe with your eyes or direct an angry look at children, it tends to make them feel ill at ease, and worry that they have done something to displease you.
Always remember that if there is a contradiction between the look on your face and the words you utter, your kid is always going to latch on first to what your body language says. When children feel loved, it gives them a
quiet confidence that makes them more open to participating in various activities with a positive spirit.
Spend Time with Your Child
A child feels completely secure when she is with her parents; so spend more time with her. Be like a friend and encourage her to participate and engage in various activities. Listen attentively to whatever your child says; she will take this as a sign that you consider her worth listening to, and this builds self-esteem.
Give your child an opportunity to help you around the house, with small and simple tasks appropriate to his age. Give him a little independence to carry out the task, and avoid providing negative inputs during the process.
When the task is over, appreciate your child’s efforts and point out something specific that he did right – this gives your child an idea of what he is being praised for. As competence increases, so will his self-worth, and this will make the child more confident of venturing into new territory when the need arises.
Children are given to “magical thinking” in which they correlate events with certain actions. Therefore, a child may erroneously connect negative outcomes with causes such as their perceived unattractiveness, or lack of ability or talent.
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When parents identify such wrong beliefs and correct them, it gives the child a more realistic scale for evaluation, and helps impart a healthy self-esteem to the child.
Always make it a point to assess a child’s performance against what she is capable of, not against that of another child. Sarcastic comments such as “Why don’t you share your toys like your brother?” will only foster feelings of shame or jealousy that are damaging to self-esteem.
Praising your child to the hilt and saying she is the best of all children is equally damaging; rather, make it a point to focus on the positive aspects and encourage your child to work on weak areas.
Perhaps most important of all, we need to remember that children learn from our actions. Therefore, if children see us being pessimistic, unconfident and extremely sensitive to other people’s words and actions, they are more likely to pick up the same traits. A child’s mind is like pliable dough, so shape it the right way with your words and actions.
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