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Top 6 Ways to Build Self-Esteem in Children

Bouts of self-esteem begin to affect chidren before you even realize. As kids grow, they begin to form their understanding of their own capabilities as they fail or succeed in their endeavors. These experiences combined with how much a child is loved, supported and appreciated by people around, build the foundation of their self-esteem. A child who is an achiever but still feels unloved may also be a victim of low self-esteem. Hence, it is important to reach the right balance.

Healthy self-esteem serves as the shield of children against the challenges faced by them in life. Such kids usually have an optimistic and realistic attitude towards life. They enjoy life and are comfortable in handling conflicts and participating in group activities.

On the other hand, children with poor self-esteem often get frsutrated and anxious when faced with challenges. They usually have self-critical thoughts, like “I cannot do anything right,” “I am no good,” et al. Eventually, they become depressed, passive, and withdrawn.

A striking contrast can be posed between the attitude of a child with healthy self-esteem and attitude of a child with stunted self-esteem through an example. For instance, for the same circumstances, a kid with good self-esteem may say, “I do not understand this” but a kid with low self-esteem may say, “I am a duffer.” 

Sure, you donot want your children to suffer from low self-esteem. Right interaction and involvement of parents during the tender years can help foster healthy self-concept in children. Here are a few methods how you can assist in building your child’s self-esteem from the very start:     

1. Be Mindful of What You Are Saying – Be sensitive about what you say. Praise your kid on completion of a job well done. Appreciate their efforts and not just their achivement. It is also important that you be truthful about your appreciation, else they will know that you don’t mean what you are saying.

2. Lead by Example – Be the role model of your child. If you are pessimistic about life, and have unreastic understanding of your own limitations and capabilities, your child may take it after you. Work on your self-esteem issues and be confident of yourself to let your child follow through.

3. Redirect False Beliefs of Your Child – Observe the thinking pattern of your child and try to recognize their irrational beliefs about their abilities, perfection, looks, and other such things. Inaccurate perceptions about self can cause children to accept these illusionary perceptions as reality and affect their confidence later when they fall short of their own impractical standards.

Help them set accurate standards for themselves and evaluate themselves in a more realistic light. This will keep them self-esteem intact. For instance, an intelligent student who is weak in the History subject may say, “I can’t do History. I am not a good student.” This will ingrain the fear of History in his mind for life. Instead, you can tell him, “You’re a great student. You only need to work a little more on History than other subjects.”      

4. Be Affectionate – Shower your kids with hugs and kisses every now and then. Tell them you are proud of them and that they are the best kids in the world. But be honest and don’t overdo it. Kids can easily make out when something comes from the heart.

5. Home Should be Their Haven – Create a loving and nurturing environment at home. Make them feel safe and talk to them about their day at school or with friends. Do not abuse or argue with your spouse when your kids are home. Respect your spouse as well as kids. Also, stay on a lookout for any problems in school with teachers or with peers, if your child seems withdrawn and depressed.

6. Involve Them in Constructive Activities – Encourage activities that encourages cooperation between your younger and older child, instead of anything that brings about competitive feelings in them. Make them indulge in some team work, preferably something where your older child can mentor the younger one. This will develop harmony and unity between siblings and improve the self-esteem of both.

In the end, make your child feel special and that there is no one like them. Let them have fun on special occasions and be a little lenient sometimes. It’s okay! Like, you can bring them halloween costumes and surprise them with a scary set up of a halloween room.

Or, you can bring them a rockstar outfit for their birthday and help them carry it off with trendy punk hairstyles, making them look all funky and cool. Surprise them and make them feel loved and cared for, while giving them the much-needed leeway.

Brenda Lyttle is a freelance writer and a work-at-home mom who loves trying out new ways to enhance the skills of her 3-year old daughter and keeps her occupied in fun yet productive activities all day long. She commands an authority in writing on parenting, healthy living, HGH supplements, and other related topics.

Disclaimer:  this is a sponsored guest post.

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