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How to help your child develop good self-esteem

What is Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem is feelings of self-worth stemming from the individual's positive or negative beliefs about being valuable and capable. A good indicator of a person's self-esteem is how they behave and their attitudes. A child’s self-esteem will dictate how he or she interacts with her peers, family and others.

Children and Self-Esteem

A child develops self-esteem very early in life. It is important that children are made to feel that they are lovable and capable at a young age. Parents should be mindful of what they say and how they interact with their children because parents are the mirrors in which children see themselves.

What Can I Do to Develop a Good Self-Esteem in My Child?

  • Praise your child as often as possible. Focus on all the positive things that your child does, no matter how simple.
  • Tell your child you love them. This should come across as genuine and not as a habit.
  • Give your child affection.
  • Demonstrate respect for your child like you would toward a perfect stranger--and use your manners. Many times parents talk to their children in ugly manners and tones which can foster negative self-esteem in children.
  • Try to be predictable. Children need to know their barriers and they need consistency. Children who do not have predictability and consistency may feel they do not matter to their parents.
  • Accept your children the way they are and never put demands upon them they cannot achieve.
  • If your child makes a mistake, don’t keep expounding upon the error that he or she has made. Instead, use it as a learning time of what they can do next time. Everyone makes mistakes, especially children who are just learning their places in the world.
  • Let your child see that you care about yourself. If a child sees that his or her role model has bad habits, he or she may pick them up.
  • When talking to children, maintain eye contact. Let them know you have heard what is being said. This shows children that their opinions are valuable and that how they think and feel is important.
  • If you tell your child you are going to do something, follow through and do it. Broken promises can lead to low self-esteem.


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