Self-esteem can take a lifetime of work. Because of this, it is best to start early with your children. No matter who you are, compliments and praise can uplift someone. As an adult, someone telling you that your hair looks nice or that they like your outfit can change the whole trajectory of your day; this can go for children as well. Often, people spend their time critiquing and criticizing children on what they are doing wrong. Letting them know when you are satisfied with the outcome of something a child did, whether big or small, can make a significant impact on their life. Like most things in life, this comes with moderation. Over praising your child can also come with issues. Although praise can be useful, there are many other ways to build self-esteem outside of “good job.”
Step Back and Observe
Everyone loves praise to a certain extent, but too much can be harmful. It can be highly beneficial if you step back and allow your child to take risks, make their own decisions, and work on their problem-solving skills. Things like consistency and perseverance can be taught when you allow your child to stick with the things they started. Self-esteem not only comes from the feeling of being loved and secure, but it also comes from developing competence. Love and security are common things that are provided for children, and that’s a good start when you are building self-esteem. However, overpraising children can cause harm, as it can potentially work at lowering the bar of expectations. If you overpraise, your child may lose the desire to push themselves when conflict arises.
Healthy Risks and Independence
One of the hardest things to do as a parent or guardian is to allow your kid to do something independently and take risks. To build confidence in children, they need to take chances and make their own choices. Then, they can learn to take responsibility when something goes wrong. It won’t be easy, but try to let your child fail at something so they can learn how to bounce back. Something as simple as watching them try to pour a cup of juice on their own can do wonders. If you can, let them spill the liquid and see how they will react. Once they have spilled, you now have the opportunity to teach them what to do when they make a mistake. Direct them to the paper towels and teach them how to clean the spill up. Small practices can go a long way.
When you allow children to make their own decision and solve their problems, they may feel more powerful. For example, you can enable your children to decide whether to wear a coat, which will teach them the difference between warm and cold. These decisions give them control over their bodies. Simple practices will begin to show them a pattern of responsibility for themselves.
Chores and Personal Interests
As your child grows older and becomes more independent, it may be an excellent time to start delegating some tasks around the house. These tasks can range from sweeping, washing dishes, raking leaves, or even just cleaning their room. Creating a system that will provide some form of allowance will also help them learn the value of a dollar. Doing this will allow them to demonstrate their competence and understand that contribution to the household is valuable.
Another great way to help boost your child’s confidence would be to encourage them to take on tasks they might be interested in. Making sure to follow through with anything they decide to take on can show them the value of consistency. Learn to challenge your kids in racing, swimming, or even those who clean the fastest to show them the power of completing tasks.
The Power of Failure
Allowing your child to fail will teach them essential life lessons. They will be able to appreciate it as they grow older. Everyone should learn how to bounce back from making mistakes early on to reassure them they know how to maneuver problems as they become adults. Failing can harm your self-esteem, so ensure you remind your child that mistakes are a part of life – all humans make them. Learning how to handle problem situations can help them avoid further errors.
Self-esteem is a crucial component of everyone’s mental health, so it should be nurtured at an early age. Building your child’s self-esteem can help them grow into strong, healthy-minded adults. You must step back and allow yourself to observe some of the mistakes that your child may make. They can seem a little harsh at the moment, but they can do wonders in the long run. As long as the risks are healthy, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Healthy risks create independence that can help build self-esteem. No one wants to see their child struggle; people wish to uplift and shower their kids with love. Love and security is an integral part of raising your child, but it’s important not to ignore the hard stuff. If your child struggles with self-esteem that is affecting their everyday life, reach out to Healthy U. Our mission is to help teens learn to deal with trauma or emotions impacting them productively and healthily. We have a staff of professionals who can help you and your child reach a solution. Call us today at (619)-542-9542.