Healthy self-esteem is like an armor of protection against the challenges we face in the outside world. Therefore, it’s especially important that we develop a positive self-image early on in life, specifically beginning during childhood. Children who are aware of their strengths and weaknesses and feel good about themselves are usually better at handing conflicts and resisting negative pressures. They tend to be extroverted, happier, realistic, and optimistic about life than children with low self-esteem.
In contrast, kids with low self-esteem are often easily frustrated and anxious when it comes to certain challenges, particularly when it comes to academics. For instance, children who think poorly of themselves often suffer in their school work, which may follow them well into adulthood and in their professional careers. Low self-esteem could make your children withdrawn, passive, and depressed. So how can you ensure that your child has a healthy self-esteem and sense of value? Here are a few tips for building your child’s self-esteem and self-worth.
Don’t be Afraid to Show Affection and Love
Self-esteem goes hand and hand with how one values and sees himself or herself. Although this can change daily due to how we feel at one given moment, our overall self-esteem tends to develop from infancy and keeps going until we are adults. Our self-esteem makes us feel capable while also feeling loved. For instance, a child who is happy with an achievement but does not feel loved may eventually experience low self-esteem. As a result, it’s important that we reinforce our love and pride in our children, whether they win or lose, pass or fail. If your child fails at achieving something or has trouble with a specific childhood milestone, such as forming relationships with their peers, be positive and respond with encouragement. Embrace your child and remind him or her that he or she is loved no matter what.
As kids try, fail, try again, fail again, and then finally succeed, they develop ideas about their own capabilities. At the same time, they’re creating a self-concept based on interactions with other people. This is why teaching your children to be persistent is significant to creating a healthy self-esteem. While it’s important to promote your child’s self-esteem through showing encouragement in areas where they’re the most successful, you must also push them and boost their self-worth in areas where they are struggling. Don’t only praise your child when he or she does well on a spelling test, but applaud his or her efforts when he or she doesn’t do well in another academic area. By not focusing on one specific area, you are showing your child that he or she is more valuable than a grade or performance in a sport, and you will love him or her no matter if he or she sinks or floats.
Avoid Placing Importance in Material Things
As parents, we naturally want our children to grow up and lead successful, financially secure lives. However, placing emphasis on material possessions or physical appearance or beauty can be a detriment to your child’s self-esteem. Of course we want our children to know they’re special and attractive, however, you shouldn’t dote too much on the outer appearance. Make sure your child knows that he or she is loved no matter how he or she looks. Many of today’s parents find this a bit difficult because modern children have so many material possessions at their disposal.
Although the school can be the nucleus for childhood bullying, particularly for children who aren’t as fortunate as others, many schools have taken measures to alleviate bullying and pressures to look a certain way by prohibiting the use of certain devices like smartphones at school or mandating a dress code or uniform from M&S. Though these protocols are helpful to making sure your child has a solid self-esteem, remember the foundation of your child’s self-worth starts with you at home.