As parents, we’re always looking for ways to make our kids happier, healthier, and more successful. Yet, few of us know exactly how to do that.
Beyond showering them with compliments and positive affirmations all day long, we’re pretty lost.
According to experts, what we should be doing instead is teaching them how to be more resilient, feel confident about themselves, and build up their self-esteem.
Because we know how much you want the best for your kids, we rounded up five of the most effective ways to build your child’s self-esteem.
Let’s get started.
Give Your Child Responsibilities
Studies show that children who take on age-appropriate responsibilities from an early age grow into highly successful adults.
Another thing you can do is give them choices. When children feel like they have options, it makes them feel validated, like their opinion matters.
For young children, you can give them a few simple chores around the house. Then, give them the chance to choose between pancakes or waffles.
As they grow, their range of responsibilities and choices should grow with them. This will help prepare them for the more challenging choices they’ll face later on in life.
So, they may whine and complain at first. But they’ll definitely thank you later.
Create Opportunities for Growth
We all want our kids to be successful at everything they try out. One way to do that is to pay attention to what your child enjoys doing. Then, help them set achievable goals in their scope of interest.
This opens up opportunities for your kids to try new activities and get that bubbly sense of pride when they learn something new. They may even make new friends and engage in social interactions outside of their class environment.
Remember that no matter what activities your child seeks out, they need to feel like they’re accepted by their parents. This means that if you want them to be a star athlete and they love painting instead, you still have to show your support and avoid focusing on weaknesses or shortcomings.
Get Your Child to See the Bright Side of Failures
You probably feel your heart burst with joy whenever your child accomplishes something or masters a new skill. Yet, you have to face the fact that they’re bound to mess up and make mistakes.
Your child has to get the message that you’re not seeking perfection. But you put more value on effort and progress, even if it means failing because while failing is never pleasant, it’s still a crucial part of growing up.
Plus, if managed properly, failure can be an opportunity to learn something new and stay humble. It also helps them maintain the courage needed to try again, which is always difficult to do even as adults.
However, our role as parents is to show our children that we love and accept them no matter what. It also teaches them to have a good attitude even during difficult times, and that it’s important to stay persistent and persevere.
Praise from Your Heart
You may be praising your child 24/7, but is it really heartfelt? Kids are intuitive when it comes to this sort of thing. They’ll know right away if you mean it or if you’re just going through the motions.
So, the next time you praise your child, make sure it’s heartfelt. For example, try saying something specific.
Look them in the eye and describe exactly why you feel this way or what particular part of their drawing caught your attention.
It may be a very small part of your day that you probably won’t remember a couple of hours later but to your child, it’s an affirmation that they’re loved unconditionally.
It’s easy to let the stress of our jobs and responsibilities get the best of us. Then, we get frustrated and say things we don’t mean.
Though, we have to rein in our frustrations and remember that kids take everything to heart. So, even if you’re saying something sarcastic as a joke, all they’re going to pick up on is your tone and your choice of language.
Always keep in mind that your child is always seeking your approval, even if they pretend not to care. They want you to notice them and be proud of them.
At the same time, we can be too critical of our kids: they’re lazy, they misbehave, and they talk back. But saying these harsh, sarcastic things to your kid won’t motivate them and will only make things worse. So, the next time you get frustrated with your child, take a few minutes to cool off before blurting out something hurtful.
Not only will you end up regretting it, but over time, your kid will start to develop a negative view of themselves. This has a direct impact on their emotional and psychological health, which undermines their self-esteem.