How to Build Self-Esteem in Children

How to Build Self-Esteem in Children and Be a Positive Role Model

Children who have high self-esteem tend to be happier and more willing to try new things. They believe they are worthy of love, trust themselves and know they have something to offer the world. Self-esteem in children can be influenced by many factors including the adults in their lives. If you want your child to grow up believing they are special, positive role models can help you achieve this. As a parent or caregiver, there are many ways you can build self-esteem in children:

Be a positive role model

If you want your child to have high self-esteem, you must have high self-esteem yourself. Children learn from what they see, not what they are told. If your child notices you put yourself down, even if you try to excuse it as a joke, he or she will pick up on it. You can build your child’s self-esteem by believing in yourself. Try to avoid comparisons with other children. This includes the way you praise your child. Instead of saying, “You’re so much better at this than Johnny!”, say, “You are great at this!”.

Recognize your child’s strengths and talents

All children have strengths, even if they don’t seem to be good at anything. You can help your child build self-esteem by recognizing and celebrating their strengths. You can also encourage your child to explore their interests. If your child is struggling at school or has a challenge they are facing in their life, avoid saying, “You’re not good at this.” This will leave your child feeling inadequate. Instead, try encouraging them and helping them find a solution. If your child is interested in something, encourage them to pursue it. If they want to try something new, but they are feeling shy, help them to break the ice. 

Celebrate small successes

All kids crave praise, and children with low self-esteem are no different. By praising your child for even the smallest of successes, you can help them to build more confidence in themselves. This will also help them to feel more worthy of praise. Since all children develop at different rates, some are more successful in their endeavors than others. This doesn’t mean that an unsuccessful child has low self-esteem. All children have moments of self-doubt, but with a positive influence, these can be overcome. Allow your child to make mistakes and fail in certain areas. 

Help your child cope with failure

All children will fail at some point; it is part of growing up and learning. When your child fails in an area, be there to comfort them and help them see what they can learn from the experience. Let your child know that they are not a failure, but that they have failed. If your child is struggling with a subject at school, encourage them to study it at home. If they are having difficulty making friends, spend more time with them. If they are struggling with anxiety, seek help from a psychologist or counsellor.

All children have the potential to have high self-esteem. The key is to help them to see their potential. If you build your child’s self-esteem, they are more likely to grow up to be a happy, healthy person who feels worthy and loved.

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