Top 8 tips to Boost your Child’s Self-Esteem
“Self-esteem impacts your decision-making process, your relationships, your emotional health, and your overall well-being. It also influences motivation, as people with a healthy, positive view of themselves understand their potential and may feel inspired to take on new challenges.” (verywellmind.com)
Children that lack self-esteem, tend to be hard on themselves and feel like they aren’t as good as other children. They might be more likely to focus on their failures rather than their successes, and they can be afraid to try new things.
A parent’s role when looking after their children is to support them through life and build them up with love, care and attention to be able to tackle any challenge the child faces in life.
Here are our Top 8 Tips to boost your child’s self-esteem:
1. Model confidence yourself
Approach your day to day tasks, work and hobbies with optimism as this shows a child that not only do we have responsibilities, but a good attitude pushes them forward. This does’t mean that you don’t talk about something that makes you anxious or nervous. Express this to your child but that you are going to try anyway because the outcome is worth it. Modelling this behaviour in front of and with your child means they will mimic it.
2. Independence: allow your child to choose and try new things
If your child shows interest in something or you’ve given them the option to make a choice, then let them run with it. Let them find out their own abilities and limits on their own. They’ll learn much faster. Instead of focusing on the things they are already good at, allow your child to choose where to diversify.
Encouraging this behaviour will not only develop your child’s independence and self-esteem. It will also develop problem solving. They’ve made a decision, then they hit a hurdle. See how they solve it on their own! Offer your help if they want it, but don’t jump in. It is important that your child learns to take ownership of their decision.
3. Allow and support your child to pursue their interests
Allowing your child to explore their interests helps to develop their sense of who they are, which is crucial for building confidence and self-esteem. Once they are invested in a new interest, encourage them to pursue it further, teaching them the idea of responsibility and seeing something through to the end. Ask questions, find out why they are interested and how you can support them more. Having these conversations with them encourages self-expression and solidifies their identity and their bond with you.
Be aware of novelty syndrome. This is where a child would like to do something for a month or soothed stops when the novelty fizzles out. Do a trial period of a few activities before committing to a programme.
4. Set goals for your child’s interests and school deadlines
Help your child turn their interest or passion into something that is actionable, time,-dependent and goal oriented. This will give both of you a better idea of what your child wants to accomplish. Practice breaking down these long-term goals into manageable tasks.
Doing this together validates their interests and teaches them important life skills about sticking with something to the end and preparation. “Proper preparation prevents poor performance.”
5. Embrace imperfection
Sometimes goals are missed, because life gets in the way, or the preparation required needed tweaking earlier. That’s ok! Readjust and set a new goal and timeline. It is always better that your child has tried than to become disheartened and doesn’t want to try again. Provide a safe space and/or time for your child to express any emotions, such as disappointment but remind them that they can always learn from it and try again.
6. Help them learn from their mistakes
Analyse with your child where they could improve or where they went wrong. This analysis is a skill necessary for them in later life. A skill that will help them land a job or achieve anything they set their mind to!
Once they have analysed what to improve, support them to try again and tweak as they go, mistakes are usually an accumulation of little, minor things that can be corrected straight away.
7. Praise perseverance and effort
Always praise the perseverance and effort before anything else. The journey and development of your child’s skills and mindset are always more important than the end result.
Praising your child when they reach their goal is great, definitely do that. But don’t water down your praise by doing it early, or too often, otherwise your child will think that the effort is no longer necessary.
8. Give your child responsibilities
Finally, children learn through doing something themselves and being a part of the family/team. As they grow up, give them a responsibility. Something they can do to support everyone else that they can feel accomplished for. Can they be the one that empties the dishwasher in the mornings? Or be responsible for the dusting around the house?
Your child will feel more valued and connected knowing that they are important to the whole family or team working and making progress. Personal progress is necessary and important for your child to learn, but they need something to remind them that being part of a team is just as rewarding, especially when you achieve something together.
Developing a strong sense of self will help any child rise to any challenge. At the end of the day, we all want our children to create a better world than we have and to contribute in a positive manner. They can do this with well-developed self-esteem and confidence to try anything and achieve anything they set their minds to.
In a nutshell:
- Allow your child to try something and fail
- Goal set with them to help them improve, tweak along the way
- Praise the effort and perseverance along the journey.
Here are some extra tips for boosting your child’s self-esteem: