Self-esteem is an important factor in a child’s emotional and psychological development. It reflects how much a kid values and believes in himself or herself. Low self-esteem can result in poor mental health, difficulty in social connections, and academic underachievement. It is critical as a parent to nurture and promote self-esteem in children. Based on research and professional advice, this article will present practical tips and examples for increasing self-esteem in children.
Allowing kids to make their own choices and decisions helps them develop self-esteem. It makes individuals feel competent and capable, which boosts their confidence. We as parents may encourage independence in our children by allowing them to choose their own clothes, meals, and even weekend activities. We can also provide kids the opportunity to solve problems on their own, such as assisting them in brainstorming solutions to a disagreement with a friend or encouraging them to figure out how to complete a task on their own. A lot of areas that we as parents can give them independence in – or in other words a choice, even if those choices lead to the same outcome.
Example: Assume your child wants to complete a craft project. Rather than providing step-by-step instructions, as a parent you can provide resources and allow your child to create something on their own. If your child is having difficulty, then we as parents can provide mild advice while avoiding taking over the endeavor.
Praise Effort, Not Just Results
Children frequently associate their worth with their achievements. While it is vital to recognize their accomplishments, it is also crucial to recognize their effort and hard work. Children feel acknowledged and respected for their behaviors, not simply their ability, when they receive praise for their efforts. This aids in the development of a growth mentality, which pushes individuals to persevere even when things get difficult.
Example: If a child brings home a good grade, instead of saying “You’re so smart!”, as a parent one can say “You worked hard and it paid off! I’m proud of your effort”.
Validate Feelings for Self Esteem
When children experience unpleasant emotions such as grief, rage, or frustration, it is critical that their sentiments be acknowledged and validated. This makes them feel heard and understood, which might improve their self-esteem. Parents can also teach their children healthy ways to express their feelings.
Example: If a child is angry because they were not invited to a friend’s party, rather then stating “”Don’t worry about it,” parents can add, “I understand how you feel excluded. It’s normal to be unhappy. Let us discuss how we can make you feel better”.
Foster Positive Relationships
Healthy interactions are essential for self-esteem development. Children with better self-esteem are those that feel loved, supported, and accepted by their family, friends, and classmates. As parents we can encourage our children to make friends, spend time with family, and participate in group activities to help establish strong relationships.
Example: Parents can organize play dates, family game nights, or encourage their children to join a sports team or club.
Encourage Exploration for Self Esteem
Exploring new experiences can help children develop a feeling of wonder and curiosity about the world. This can result in a sense of self-discovery and growth, which can increase self-esteem. Parents may foster their children’s exploration by introducing them to new experiences, locations, and activities. So go discover Mallorca and the world in all of it’s beauty.
Example: You can take your child(ren) to museums, go on nature walks, or encourage them to attempt a new interest, such as painting or playing an instrument.
Building children’s self-esteem is a long-term process that involves patience, persistence, and focus. Parents can help their children develop a strong sense of self-worth and confidence by promoting independence, applauding effort, validating feelings, building positive relationships, and stimulating discovery. Remember that developing self-esteem is not about instilling a sense of entitlement or narcissism in children, but rather about making them feel good about themselves and their abilities. Children’s self-esteem will naturally fluctuate as they grow and develop. Parents, on the other hand, can help their children create a firm foundation for their emotional and psychological well-being by providing a supportive and encouraging atmosphere.
- Baumeister, R. F., Campbell, J. D., Krueger, J. I., & Vohs, K. D. (2003). Does high self-esteem cause better performance, interpersonal success, happiness, or healthier lifestyles?. Psychological science in the public interest, 4(1), 1-44.
- Johnson, J. E., Haigh, E. A. P., & Driskell, J. E. (2017). The effects of autonomy-supportive parenting on child and parent outcomes in a clinic-referred sample. Motivation and Emotion, 41(4), 521-536.
- Merten, J., Cwik, J. C., & Margraf, J. (2017). Parental overprotection and its relation to perceived child vulnerability. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 11(1), 1-13.
- Rimm-Kaufman, S. E., & Pianta, R. C. (2000). An ecological perspective on the transition to kindergarten: A theoretical framework to guide empirical research. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 21(5), 491-511.