5 Steps to Build Self-Esteem in Children

A Guide for Parents

On the surface, self-esteem seems like a simple concept: you either have it or you don’t. But what exactly is self-esteem and why does it matter? Self-esteem is how we view ourselves from the inside. It’s our belief system about our character, abilities, and worth as a person. Self-esteem in children is imperative for their growth and development in all areas of life. A child with a healthy level of self-esteem trusts in themselves and their abilities. They know who they are as a person, what they like and dislike, and what they are capable of achieving. In this article, we will explore 5 ways to build self-esteem in your child. 

Be a role model 

Children are sponges, soaking up everything around them, and that includes the way you treat yourself. If your child sees you putting yourself down or putting yourself first above others, they will do the same. What does this look like? Be mindful of the language you use around your child. Avoid words like “bad”, “stupid”, “fat”, and “dumb”. Instead, use words like “challenging”, “growth”, and “different”. Your child looks up to you and sees how you handle situations. If they see you putting yourself down or putting others down, they will do the same. 

Praise effort, not just results 

When your child completes a task, it is easy to praise the result. This leaves the child feeling good about themselves for the short term. However, if the next challenge is slightly more difficult, the child may feel like a failure because they don’t have the confidence to try again. On the other hand, when you praise your child for their efforts, they will feel good about their choices, even if they didn’t complete the task fully. This means they will be more likely to try again when the next challenge comes along, knowing that they can do it. 

Find your child’s passion 

Although it is important to support your child’s interests, it is also important to find the passion within them. Many children follow a path because it is what they think their parents want or because they are good at it. If your child has a passion that they love, they will naturally want to do it, and will be incredibly successful at it. Passion brings out the best in us, fueling us with energy and joy. When we are passionate about something, we want to do it, and we want to do it well.

Celebrate small wins 

A small win is like a little gift to your child. It is an opportunity to celebrate what they have achieved, no matter how small the achievement might be. For example, if your child cleans their room, you could say, “Wow! That is amazing!” Or if they finish their homework early, you could say, “Wow! That is amazing!”. Your child will learn to celebrate their own wins, and this will help them build confidence in their abilities. If they know they have achieved something, they will feel good about themselves and their choices. 

Help your child build confidence 

Building confidence is something that can be done through simple exercises. When your child completes a task or challenge, find something you can praise them for. Be specific in your praise. Say things like, “Wow! You managed to do that with ease!” or “You totally nailed that!” Another way to build confidence in your child is to invite them to join a club or take part in an activity that allows them to explore their interests. This will help them meet like-minded individuals and build connections with others. 

Building self-esteem in children is an important task, and it can be done in many different ways. The key to building self-esteem in children is to focus on the process, not the result. This means praising effort, not specific outcomes, and finding your child’s passion. It is also important to be a good role model, celebrate small wins, and help your child build confidence. When you do these things, you can help your child develop a healthy level of self-esteem.

The author of this article is a therapist from the Sensera app. Sensera is a daily 10-minute self-therapy app. It’ll help you to cope with various mental problems (anxiety, self-esteem, relationship issues). Feel better with CBT audio sessions and exercises. Download now to become happier!

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