Saturday 31 January 2015

Ten tips to boost your child's self-esteem

We always want our children to be respectful, but we need to think about how respectful we are to them.
Playful mother and daughter

If you want to give your child the best possible opportunities in life, helping them to have high self-esteem is a great starting point.

Children will make mistakes. We can choose to punish them, or we can let them learn from their choices.

Self-esteem can seem a bit intangible. We can't really see it, hold on to it, or touch it in any way. Despite this, we are often acutely aware when it is missing, especially in our children.

They can seem to have a very negative opinion of themselves, or they seem unconfident, overly dependent, or conformist.

In contrast, children who have high self-esteem are more emotionally mature, more stable, more realistic and they have a higher frustration tolerance. They also tend to be happier and to do better academically.

So if you want to give your child the best possible opportunities in life, then helping them to have high self-esteem is a great starting point. To help you along that road, here are my top 10 tips for building your child's self-esteem.

1, Remember what you are role-modelling

Children watch us all the time. They take their lead from how we act in the world. It is our actions that give them the strongest guide for their own behaviour.

If you find that you are self-deprecating, be aware that your children may learn to do the same.

Similarly, if you find that you always say "yes" to things because you don't want to offend others by saying "no", you may be giving your children a message that other people's needs are more important.

Even our own expectations of ourselves can be unreasonable, leaving us feeling like we are constantly failing.

2. Give individual attention to your children

I know how busy family life can get. Nevertheless, children will always benefit from a bit of special time with their parent(s).

When children feel their parents notice them, it really helps children to develop the self-belief that they are indeed important individually.

We all have our strengths and our weaknesses. There is no perfect parent and no perfect child. But children need to know that, even when they mess up, they are still loved and cared about.

When children make individual choices they need to know that, whatever the outcome, we will not reject or dismiss them.

Often in our approaches to discipline, we can unintentionally make our love seem conditional. Our children may come to believe they are only acceptable to us when they behave in certain ways.

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