Tips On How to Help Your Child’s Self-Esteem
Having healthy self-esteem is an important part of growing up, and it can help children develop into adults who are confident, happy, and successful. The best way to help your child build their self-esteem is to be supportive and loving while giving them room to make mistakes and figure out what they want in life.
Here are some tips on how you can help your child develop a strong sense of self:
Allow Your Child to Make Mistakes
Encourage your child to try new activities, but don't force them. As you know, children and adolescents are constantly being introduced to new ideas and experiences that can sometimes be overwhelming.
It is essential for them to know how to deal with failure because it is a part of life. However, it's not always about learning from mistakes — sometimes, we just need someone who believes in us.
When your child comes home after failing an exam or getting into a fight at school, don't tell them that they got what they deserved or instantly send them off to their room to sit in punishment.
Instead, ask them what happened and why they think they didn't do well on the test. Or why were they fighting? You might find out that some underlying issues are going on – such as bullying or peer pressure – which may lead you to help them develop better coping mechanisms in the future!
Build Their Confidence
If you want to help your child build up their confidence, it's vital that you focus on areas where they place value. If you’re constantly complimenting your daughter on how “beautiful” she is, but she wants to be considered intelligent, funny, or cool — you could indirectly be validating their insecurities.
Instead, praise them for their strengths, and encourage them to do things they are good at or show interest in.
Try to avoid criticizing or pressuring them to improve something they aren’t excelling at and don’t ever compare them to other people.
Don’t Ignore Their Feelings
The best thing you can do for your child is to accept their feelings. Don't dismiss their feelings or tell them how they should feel. They know themselves best, so let them decide.
Don't tell them they're wrong for feeling a certain way, because that will make them feel even more confused and frustrated than they already do. And if they are being “dramatic” or “too sensitive” in any way, remember that it's likely because they've been hurt — sometimes not by anyone in particular, but just by life itself!
Be Honest & Give Praise
While it may seem counterintuitive, one of the best ways to help your child build self-esteem is to give them honest feedback about their strengths and weaknesses.
While it can be challenging for parents to do this, especially if you have high expectations for your child’s performance, honesty is critical in helping children develop a sense of responsibility and accountability toward their work.
Praising your child when they do well is essential, and not just when others praise them! Let them know you’re proud of them even if no one else is around. Praise is a powerful motivator that helps reinforce positive behaviors and habits in children.
Help Them Believe
If you have a child with low self-esteem, it is important that you believe in his or her abilities. Children need to know that the adults around them have faith and confidence in them.
They need to trust that their parents are there for them no matter what happens and that the adults will always be there for them when they need help or guidance through difficult times.
If your child feels safe and secure within your family unit, they will start learning how to feel comfortable with who they are as individuals instead of focusing on what other people think about them.
Encourage Them To Try New Things
It’s important to encourage your child to try new things, but don’t force it.
You can encourage your child to try new things by setting a positive example. They will likely follow suit if you are willing to try something new.
Be supportive of their efforts and help them with their goals and achievements. Young children especially look up to their parents as role models and will want to be like them. If they see that you can do something well and enjoy it, they will have more confidence in themselves and feel better that they too can do it someday!
Help your child set goals so that they have something specific to reach before moving onto another task at hand instead of just doing whatever comes along first without really making sure it’s worth doing according to their own personal standards.
Teach Them About Their Emotions
When you talk to your child about the emotions they're experiencing, explain that feelings are normal and can be positive or negative.
Emotions are a way of reacting to something in the environment and can range from mild (such as feeling happy when someone hugs you) to intense (like feeling afraid when you're alone in a dark room).
It's essential for children to know how their feelings affect their behavior.
For example, if your child is angry with her friend because she ate all the cookies, tell her there are other ways she can express how she feels other than yelling at her friend. You might say: "I know it's hard when someone takes your favorite snack without asking first."
Praise Personality Traits
Praise them for their intelligence, creativity, and personality. The best thing you can do for your child's self-esteem is to praise them for things that have nothing to do with appearance.
Praise them for the effort they put into their work — congratulate them on how well they did on a test, completed an important project, or helped someone else complete a task.
If you notice that your child has been treating others kindly and compassionately lately, be sure to let your child know that this is something you appreciate about him or her.
Teach Them To Set Realistic Goals
It's important that you don't set your child up for failure. You want them to be able to achieve their goals, and not dread trying.
Setting goals that are too high or too low will make them feel bad about themselves when they don't meet those expectations. Also, you want to ensure the goal is realistic but still challenging enough so they'll be motivated while working towards it.
You can do this by setting goals with a timeframe in mind (such as 30 days), making sure there is an objective attached to the end result of achieving this goal (i.e., if I get an A+ on my math test next week), or remembering that sometimes less-specific objectives can provide more motivation than specific ones (i.e., if I study hard for my tests).
Reward Progress, Rather Than Results
It's important to remember that your child's self-esteem is a process, not a destination. You should be patient and understanding as they work through their feelings and thoughts and the challenges they face.
It's also important to remember that kids don't always have the same goals as adults do, so you may need to help them understand what success means in their life individually.
You should avoid setting unrealistic expectations for them (or yourself) because this will only lead to disappointment or frustration for everyone involved. Instead of focusing on results, try rewarding progress throughout the journey towards achieving goals.
Hopefully, these tips have helped you understand how to encourage your child’s self-esteem. Remember, they are learning how to build their own self-esteem as they grow up, so it’s essential that we give them the support they need in order to succeed!
About Imperial Healing House
Imperial Healing House is a residential treatment center with a home environment for adolescent females ages 12-18. Our typical students have a history of trauma, anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. Imperial House is built around pillars of therapeutic support, academic success, tailored nutrition, creative and personal development.