A child can never have too much self-esteem. On the other hand, the outcomes for children with low self-esteem can be quite poor. As a parent, your child’s level of self-esteem is largely your responsibility. There is much you can do to make your child feel confident and competent.
Children are sensitive and have a peer group that can be quite harsh, so what you do at home matters tremendously. It’s vital that your child have a reserve of self-esteem that can survive the unpleasantness of other kids.
Use these strategies to help your child feel good about themselves:
1. Love your child unconditionally.
Every child should believe they are loved unconditionally. Every child should believe that no matter what mistake they make or failure they suffer that they are still loved by their parents.
Consider the impact it has on a child’s self-esteem when he or she believes they’re only loved when they behave a certain way or achieve a certain result.
2. Help your child to set appropriate goals.
Few things are more beneficial to self-esteem than success. Work with your child to set appropriate and achievable goals.
Begin with goals that are very easy to accomplish. Give your child a taste of success and the confidence boost that goes along with it. For example, a good goal for a young child might be to clean their room.
3. Encourage persistence.
Success and persistence go hand-in-hand. Find courage in your child to be persistent and you are showing them how to be successful. Praise your child when they stick with a difficult challenge.
One way you can help your child is to set a good example. Show them what it means to persevere.
4. Give your child choices.
It’s hard to have self-esteem when you don’t have any control over your life. Give your child choices to give them the feeling of control. This can be as simple as giving them two options for lunch or allowing them to choose what shoes they wear that day.
5. Discourage perfection.
Discourage your child from attempting to be perfect. This is a game that no one can win. Your child’s self-esteem will suffer when they realize that they can never be perfect.
Show your child that you value effort and progress. These are things that anyone can achieve.
6. Avoid over-praising.
Your child knows when your praise is excessive. Give praise where praise is due. Also, praise your child for making a good effort.
Excessive praise has been shown to have a negative effect on a child’s confidence.
7. Allow your child to overhear you complimenting them.
A child gets a big boost to their self-esteem when they hear a parent complimenting them to another adult.
Your children are always watching you. Use that to your advantage.
8. Take good care of yourself.
Take good care of yourself and you show your child that you are important. They will believe that they are important and should take care of themselves too. You can model how to make themselves a priority.
What we do at home can have a huge impact on our children’s future. Teach your children to love and believe in themselves, and they’ll reap the benefits throughout their lives.