Nurturing your child’s self-esteem may seem like a hefty responsibilit. Here few simple strategies to help lay that foundation for confidence.
Self-esteem is a term used in psychology to reflect a person’s overall emotional evaluation of his or her own worth. It is a judgement of oneself as well as an attitude toward’s the self. A child’s self-esteem encompasses beliefs such as “I am loving, competent. I am worthy” and emotions such as triumph and pride.
The goal as a parent is to ensure that your children develop self worth, self-respect, regard for cultural roots as well as faith in the ability to handle life’s challenges.
Here are few simple strategies to help boost your child’s self-esteem:
Give unconditional love and express it
Your choice of words develop your children’s self-worth. Saying “I love you, no matter who you are or what you do.” instills a sense of deep-rooted acceptance and belonging in them. They know that they are loved, cared for and accepted regardless of their strengths, difficulties, temperament or abilities. This eases off the pressure of performance and allows them to be free and explore themselves.
Give them plenty of cuddles, kisses, and pats on the shoulder. And don’t forget to tell them how much you love them.
When you correct them, make it clear that their behaviour is unacceptable, not them. For instance, instead of saying, “You’re so naughty! Why can’t you listen ?” say, “Please don’t push your sister or throw your toys.”
Give attention and explain things
Chalk out time to give your children undivided attention. It sends the message that you think they are important and valuable. That does wonders for their feeling of self-worth.
It doesn’t have to take a lot of time. It just means taking a moment to stop looking through the phone if they are trying to talk to you or putting aside whatever is occupying you, long enough to answer a question.
Make eye contact to show that you’re really listening to what they’re saying. When you’re strapped for time, don’t ignore their needs. Just let them know that by saying, “Tell me what happened at dance practice. What was the most fun part of your day. When you’re finished, I need to make our dinner.”
Teach limits and respect them
Establish a few reasonable, consistent rules. For instance, if you ask them to wear a helmet when they ride the bike in the driveway, don’t let them go without it to their friend’s house. And if they break a rule, be sure they know what the consequence is beforehand, for example “If you don’t wear your bike helmet, you don’t get to ride your bike.”
Knowing that certain family rules are set in stone helps them feel secure. They’ll start to live by your expectations soon enough. Be clear and steady, show them that you trust them and expect them to do the right thing.
In my next article I will be sharing about practising mindfulness in parenting. Stay tuned!