Care for your Child

Tips for parents on Self-esteem

Healthy self-esteem is like a child’s armour against the challenges of the world. Kids who know their strengths and weaknesses and feel good about themselves seem to have an easier time handling conflicts and resisting negative pressures. They tend to smile more readily and enjoy life. These kids are realistic and generally optimistic.

Self-esteem is similar to self-worth. This can change from day to day or from year to year, but overall self-esteem tends to develop from infancy and keeps going until we are adults. Patterns of self-esteem, start very early in life. So, it’s wise to think about developing and promoting self-esteem during childhood. This is why parental involvement in key to helping kids from accurate, healthy self-perceptions. Parents and caregivers can promote healthy self-esteem by showing encouragement and enjoyment in many areas.

How parents can help:

How can a parent help to foster healthy self-esteem in a child? These tips can make a big difference.

1. Be careful what you say: kids can be sensitive to parents and others words. Remember to praise your child not only for a job well done but also for the effort. But be truthful.

2. Be a positive role model: if you are excessively harsh on yourself, pessimistic, or unrealistic about your abilities and limitations, your kids might eventually mirror you. Nurture your own self-esteem and they will have a great role model.

3. Be spontaneous and affectionate: your love will help boost your child’s self-esteem. Give hugs and tell your kids your proud of them when you can see them putting effort toward something or trying something at which they previously failed. Give praise often and honestly, but without overdoing it.

4. Give positive, accurate feedback: comments like “you always over act when you are angry” will make kids feel like they have no control over their outbursts. A better statement is, “ I can see you were very angry with your brother, but it was nice that you were able to talk about it instead of yelling or hitting.” This acknowledges a child’s feelings, rewards the choice made, and encourages the child to make the right choice again next time.

5. Create a safe, loving home environment: kids who don’t feel safe or kids who are abused at home are at greatest risk for developing poor self-esteem. A child who is exposed to parents who fight and argue repeatedly may feel they have no control over their environment and become helpless or depressed. Encourage your kids to talk to you or other trusted adults about solving problems that are too big to solve by themselves.

6. Help kids become involved in constructive experiences: Activities that encourage co-operation rather than competition are especially helpful in fostering self-esteem.

When promoting healthy self-esteem, it’s important to not have too much or too little but “just enough.” Make sure your kids don’t end up feeling that if they’re average or normal at something, it’s the same as not being good or special.

Finding professional help:

If you suspect your child has low self-esteem, consider getting professional help. Child and adolescent therapist and counsellors can help identify coping strategies to help deal with problems at school or home in ways that help kids feel better about themselves.

Taking responsibility and pride in who you are is a sure sign of healthy self-esteem and the greatest gift parents can give to their child. (Michelle, 2012)

Reference

Michelle, N. J. (2012, March). Developing your kid's self-esteem. Retrieved July 01, 2016, from kidshealth: http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/self-esteem.html?WT.ac=p-ra#