Self-esteem plays a critical role in a child’s overall development. Children with high self-esteem typically adjust better to new situations, get better grades in school, and exhibit fewer personal behavioral issues. Parents and caregivers can use these five strategies to boost their child’s self-esteem.
Show Unconditional Love Every Day
Children need to hear how much you love them every single day. This gives them a sense of security and belonging. A foundation of unconditional love and support is crucial to help children develop a strong sense of who they are. Unconditional love from parents forms the base children need for all the healthy relationships they will create later on in their lives. Never pass up an opportunity to let your child know you love them. Hug your child before they leave for school each day, snuggle together before bed, and be generous with the phrase “I love you.”
Celebrate The Little Things
Give your child little opportunities throughout the day to feel successful. Try to give them age-appropriate tasks and goals. These little accomplishments and the praise they get for them will help your child learn that they are capable and valuable. Provide your child specific feedback highlighting what they have done well instead of just offering general praise.
Let Your Child Take Healthy Risks
The freedom to take risks is essential for healthy development. For a child to build confidence in their ability to navigate the world, they need to be allowed to take chances and make choices. A child also needs to learn to take responsibility for those choices. When parents constantly prevent their children from failing, instead of letting them explore natural consequences, it lowers a child’s self-esteem.
Model Positive Self-Esteem
Parents or other custodial guardians are the most substantial influence in a child’s life. Friends and other relatives do have an impact, but parents have the longest-lasting effect. If you are critical of yourself in front of your child, they will likely adopt a similarly negative opinion of themselves. When you show that you can embrace your weaknesses and strengths, you encourage your little one to do the same.
Treat Your Child With Respect
Avoid being overly critical of their behavior when a child makes a mistake or poor choice. It is important to remember that what we say to a child after they make mistakes can significantly impact them. Harsh words can be damaging to self-esteem. A parent’s constant criticism can cause children to view themselves negatively. Take time to explain to your child precisely what about their behavior is bothering you, and don’t forget to remind them that you will always love them.
As a parent, intentionally working to build your child’s self-esteem is worth the effort. These strategies will help set your kids up for success now and in the future. You may not get everything right all the time, but that is okay. The important thing is that you are consistently trying to make sure that your child feels loved and supported.
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