5 Healthy Ways to Boost Your Child’s Self-Esteem
I think back to when my daughter pretended she was a superhero. I couldn’t help but think about the adventure, imagination, and confidence little ones show at such a young age! Why does that change as children become older? Well, because too often, these next 5 points are missed. Parents forget the littlest things that boost their self-esteem and set your child up for success in life!
Spend One on One Time With Each Child
Spending one on one time with your child helps you as a parent to see their individual personalities and needs. Showing them that you treasure THEM individually adds security. Unfortunately, we often reserve one on one time for correction instead of for positive bonding. So take a time out for a GOOD reason! Think of how special it makes YOU feel when you have one-on-one time with your spouse or a friend! Children are NO different!
Provide Your Child With Choices
Instead of always telling your child what they WILL do, pick a few decisions you are comfortable with and offer them the choice. Not only does that help them to make decisions, but it also boosts their self-confidence. For example, if you have a couple of hours to kill, ask them to choose between going to the park or playing a board game at the house. Once they choose, go for it!
If they chose the park, let them know how much fun you had and how great of a choice it was. This shows them that they can make good decisions that affect not only themselves but others as well. By their decision, they make both themselves AND YOU happy! Talk about a boost in confidence!
Never Compare Children
Each child is unique. Make sure you encourage their individuality. Comparing your children means they should all be alike instead of being their own unique individuals. It would be a pretty boring place if we were all alike!
Encourage Independence and Assure Them NO ONE is Perfect
Teaching your toddler to put their shoes on even if it means the shoes wind up on the wrong feet. Or ask your five-year-old to make their bed even if the blankets are not pulled perfectly to all edges. Allow your eight-year-old to clean the bathroom alone, even if it may not get as clean as you would prefer. Teaching your child these tasks is important for their future AND their self-esteem.
Give SINCERE Praise
Everyone needs a pat on the back every so often. The key is to make sure it is sincere AND specific. Don’t just say, “Great job!”. Get specific. Tell your child what specifically they did a great job with. If your daughter drew a picture for you of what SHE says is a person holding a flower, but it looks like a bunch of colorful scribbles. Praising isn’t necessarily honest, is it?! Instead, find which colorful blurb is the flower and tell them they picked a beautiful color for the flowers. Find something to praise while still being HONEST!
With all that said, it’s also worth noting that low self-esteem may also be caused by how your child sees themselves physically. Although physical appearance should not be a big deal, teaching your child how to groom themselves properly never hurts. Also, if they have issues in their appearance that can be fixed, go ahead and consult a professional. For one, if they have dental issues, you can visit an expert dentist in Raleigh to get them treated.