FOSTERING YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM
Self-esteem is how you feel about yourself, both inside and out. For your child, it does impact the relationships with her parents, peers, as well as her academic performances. This is why it is essential to help her develop a strong self-esteem. As a parent, you have a major role in fostering this concept since your words and your actions have the power to increase or decrease your child’s self-esteem.
5 keys to foster a strong self-esteem:
1. Love your child unconditionally and accept her exactly the way she is. That means your child does not have to be, or do anything in particular to earn your love. Your child will then feel valued for who she truly is.
2. Notice her progress and efforts by praising and encouraging her. Your child’s good behavior and achievements will get reinforced. Show her how proud you are of her, whether she was successful or not. As a result, she will start being proud of her own accomplishments.
3. Respect your child. By showing your child that you care about her feelings and well-being, it will teach her how to respect herself and others as well. When you do not agree with her, let her know by explaining your reasons and by using “I statements”. For example, instead of saying “Why did you hit your brother?”, try “I don’t agree when you hit your brother as it hurts him. I think you are probably angry with him. How could you let him know that you are angry with him?”
4.Teach your child that making mistakes is perfectly normal as we all learn from our mistakes. Be a role model for your child and do not be afraid to admit your own mistakes/failures and what you learn from them. Learning new skills takes time and practice, and no one can master everything.
5. Let her make choices. Offering choices to your child helps her learn that she has some control over her life. Over time, your child gains self-confidence and learns how to be responsible. Although the decisions are small for your child, it can help her discover what she enjoys and what she dislikes.
Be careful about these behaviors that foster low self-esteem:
-belittling your child, especially in presence of others.
-humiliating or punishing your child when she does not succeed.
-expecting your child to be perfect
-ignoring your child’s words and actions
When your child has high self-esteem, she is happy, makes friends easily, enjoys social activities, takes calculated risks, plays on her own and with friends, is creative, and is able to follow rules more easily.
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As a parent and a therapist, I want to offer some tips on how to raise happy and healthy kids. Please feel free to comment on my posts.