Self-Esteem in Children
Self-esteem refers to the way an individual perceives his/her self-worth in reference to their abilities to do or accomplish something. This is the reason it is vital to help children develop a good self-esteem from the early years, so they can have a more positive life experience overall.
When children have a high sense of self-worth or self-value, their attitude to respond to life’s challenges is more optimistic in nature; thus, they react more positively to challenges and as such thet are able to navigate through the ups and downs of life easier. After all, children who have a ‘can do‘ attitude are naturally more able to achieve milestones and experience success.
The benefits of high self-esteem in children are numerous. Research has shown that kids who have a high perception of their self-worth or self-value tend to succeed more and achieve more in their adult life. Children who go through life believing that they have the ability to accomplish anything generally turn out to be adults that their parents will feel proud of. Besides pride, as parents we want to see our children grow up to be happy and successful adults.
Self-Esteem in Children – How to Shape it from the Early Years
Several studies conclude that self-esteem can be developed by focusing on two main key points: a sense of being secure, loved and supported which results in a healthy feeling of belonging, and a sense of capability and self-trust.
The first point, feeling secure, loved and supported, is directly influenced by the adults in the child’s life; mainly how they perceive her, how they treat her, and how they react to what she does. Parents, teachers, family members and other significant adults in the child’s life should make an effort to encourage and prise the child even when the child fails at something. This will ensure he feels supported and the sense of belonging will strenghten throughout the years, as he realizes that he can count on the adults in his life for guidance, learning and support.
The second point, a sense of capability and self-trust, will naturally develop throughout time as the child feels secure, loved and supported.
A word of caution… smothering children in adoration to the extent that they would be incapable of doing things independently isn’t the way to go, either. Experts in this field of research call for a balance between showing them reliable and consistent proof that they are loved, while allowing them to do things without overbearing and independence-crushing supervision.
The importance of self-esteem in children can be made manifest by the changes and developments that children experience as time goes by. If you’re a parent and you want to save your child from suffering the effects of low self-esteem, the following ideas can help you improve the way your child develops her self-perception:
- Be positive
Everything that you can say to your child is better said in a positive way. This is even more important if you need to reprimand or correct your child. Focusing on the positive would teach him that there is a better way to look at or do things, and that he can always choose the more pleasant take on life.
- Provide a loving environment
Children who are assured of the fact that they are loved tend to be more confident in everything they do. If she is sure that her existence in the world is being noticed in a lovingly way, she will have a higher opinion of her self-worth.
- Praise your child for a job well done
Most parents take good behavior for granted and just correct their children when the behavior is less desirable. When you make an effort to notice good behavior and make a positive comment, you will be building and reinforcing your child self-esteem. As a nice side effect, you will get a smile or grin from your child that will surely warm your heart.
- Effort counts more than results
Let’s acknolwdge that children learn as they grow up; thus, there will be inevitable blunders and slipups on the way. Recognize the effort more than the result and make sure he knows that it is OK not to get everything right the first time. Let him know that setbacks and hurdles are just a part of life and that instead of feeling bad about the situation, he can learn from it and do it better next time around. If he is old enough to understand and make comparisons, share with him situations in which you failed and what you learned from the experience. He will value you by knowing you also make mistakes every now and then. If you do this often, you’ll get a beautiful side effect: the parent-child relationship will get stronger over time.
- Practice active listening
Parents don’t usually think that active listening is an essential part of building self-esteem in children. However, when they get interested in their child’s activities and play, they get to listen to what they say. This helps in two ways: your child feels that she is important to you (and builds her self-esteem as she feels loved and accepted), and it will allow you identify self-esteem issues if they ever arise.
There are plenty of ideas, techniques and tools to help us build self-esteem in general, and many of them are good, but one is excellent especially for children:
The Children’s Self Esteem Online Program and Certification by none other than Dr. Joe Rubino, a subject-matter expert, offers a comprehensive approach to building self-esteem in children, yet it is easy to learn and follow.
This program is fantastic for any parent, educator, teacher, grandparent and every other adult that interacts with children. You will get strategies, ideas and insights to help the children in your life grow up to become their best. Additionally, if you are a coach or want to be one, this program offers a certification – a valuable and useful asset you can add to your qualifications.
Either way, this program should be in the hands of all who want to empower the next generation and help them develop their confidence to life a well-rounded and joyful life. After all, the children of today are our future. Let’s help them become the best version of themselves!
Click on the image below to learn more about this great program!