It doesn’t matter how many years have passed since your childhood – chances are good that you still remember the times that you felt proud of yourself and the times you felt truly alone. Moments of heightened emotion such as these seldom stray very far from memory. Now that you’re a parent, it’s important to recall such episodes, as the assurances that you give your children during their earliest years will go a long way toward shaping who they become as adults.
All children deserve to feel good about themselves and achieve a sense of self-worth that’s not only instilled by their parents but also learned by experience. The lessons that you teach your children throughout their lives go a long way toward building confidence, value, and acceptance, which becomes evident through the activities that they undertake. Building your child’s self-esteem is about so much more than feeling good in one instant; it’s about learning how to face the world with confidence in his or her abilities.
Allowing your child to make mistakes
Self-esteem isn’t only born from the things that children achieve but also from the mistakes and challenges that they overcome. They don’t earn self-esteem by being effortlessly good at something but by putting their misconceptions to one side and persisting regardless. A child who can stand on his or her own two feet and make decisions is one that learns the value of self. It’s all too tempting to hover over your children and prevent them from straying too far from your side. Sometimes, though, it’s that glimmer of independence that really helps your little ones to shine. Mistakes are all part of growing up, as long as those risks are within the realms of safety!
Praising your child’s efforts
Rather than offering praise for a fixed expectation, such as the desired exam result or soccer game outcome, be sure to reward your child’s efforts. Did he or she try particularly hard despite falling short? Let your child know that you acknowledge his or her efforts. This will give your child the confidence to try and try again without fear of failure.
Paying attention to the small things
Do you remember what it felt like to be engrossed in a particular craze and having no one else share your enthusiasm? The fact that your child is so excited to share a major interest with you means that it’s important to him or her. If you don’t take the time to recognize and appreciate the small stuff now, then you may find that your children are less inclined to share the really big things with you later on. Those seemingly insignificant interests that come and go are a huge deal for your child. Showing an interest now will let your child know that you really care about everything that’s important to him or her. Nothing breeds self-confidence quite like that level of acceptance.
Being mindful of low self-esteem
A child doesn’t have to be good at everything or excel in every area to have a healthy self-esteem. Similarly, a child who’s doing well and demonstrating all the signs of capability could be struggling with low self-esteem in other areas of his or her life. Low self-esteem can be crippling at any age, but for children and teenagers, it can be far more dangerous, breeding feelings of loathing, anxiety, and depression that last into adulthood. How you handle such emotions now will impact your child for better or worse later in life. Don’t ever be afraid to seek assistance if you’re struggling, as there are plenty of avenues and facilities that you can try.
The Newport Academy is one such facility, helping families to come together in the face of symptoms caused by low self-esteem. The academy empowers children and their families, enabling them to realize that poor self-esteem doesn’t mean an absence of love. As parents, it can be tempting to blame yourselves for your children’s troubles, but your attentiveness is needed now more than ever.
Ensuring that your child knows that your love is unconditional
Children make mistakes. They are noisy and carefree, take risks and are often naughty to the point of breaking their parents’ spirits. However, it’s essential that your child comes to understand that your love is unconditional and that you love him or her because of these little quirks. Heaping praise onto a well-behaved child is a natural parenting reaction, but it’s important that you reinforce discipline with a little love too. Children are sensitive creatures, and it would be all too easy for your little one to assume that he or she isn’t worthy of your love if a mistake is made. Let him or her know that that’s simply not the case.
Nurturing your child’s self-esteem is about so much more than showering your darling one with love and praise. It’s about helping your child to feel capable and confident in his or her decisions. Self-esteem is something that children come to experience when they’re shown how to face and conquer challenges, which can only be accomplished after they’ve had a few mishaps.