It’s imperative for a child’s healthy development to feel important and worthy.  Healthy self-esteem is a child’s armor against the challenges of the world.

Through these and other positive, affirming activities, your child is sure to develop a strong sense of self importance, value and worth which will carry into their adult years.

What are some good ways to build self esteem in your child?

Your child’s self esteem is their mental foundation. A self-assured child is confident, secure, happy, well-adjusted and successful. They can solve problems that come their way, and it thrives under a loving parent’s nurturing care.

1 Accept Your Child

Accept your child for who they are, and help them do the same.

Teach your child that nobody is perfect, and that everyone makes mistakes. Show them how to learn and grow from their mistakes, and let them know that you also make mistakes.

Children with high self esteem are able to take lessons from mistakes and apply them down the road. A child with low self esteem become frustrated and resort to self-depreciating behavior, such as calling themselves ‘stupid’ and vowing to ‘never try that again.’

Help your child discover their abilities and talents, and encourage outlets for them to build on and improve them. Praise a child not only for improvements in abilities and skills, but also for the traits they naturally possess.

2 Encourage your child to make positive choices

Open an honest dialog with your child and discuss the possibilities with them.

Children who learn skills for making positive choices when they are younger are well-prepared for the tougher choices they have to make when they are older.

Ensure that you spend lots of quality time with your child, at least once a week.

Whether you are shooting hoops or going out to grab a hamburger, take time to talk and keep in touch.

If you find it difficult to squeeze in quality time during a hectic week, take the time to talk about things during the drive to school or while they are helping you put the groceries away.

3 Be an example

It’s often been said that children learn what they live.

So if you’re looking for a place to start helping your child build positive self esteem and self value, then you should show them your positive sense of self and strong self esteem.

Be positive when you speak about yourself and highlight your strengths. This will teach your child that it’s okay to be proud of their talents, skills and abilities. 

4 Praise your Child

Your child also benefits greatly from honest and positive praise.

Find something about them to praise each day. You could even give your child a task you know they can complete and then praise them for a job well done after they’re finished.

Show your child that positive acts merit positive praise. 

Most importantly, tell your child “I love you” each and every day – many times throughout the day, in fact.

When they’ve behaved badly, remind yourself that it’s not them you don’t like, only their behavior.

Tuck short, sweet notes in their lunchboxes or coat pockets, or even send them a card in the mail.

Soon, they’ll learn to say “I love you” just as easily and honestly in return.

5 Listen to Them

When your child’s feeling sad, angry or depressed, communicate openly, honestly and patiently with them.

Listen to them without judging or criticizing. They may not fully understand why they feel the way they do. So offer them the opportunity to communicate with you about it may be what’s needed to help them sort through a difficult situation.

Suggest positive behaviors and options as solutions, and make sure to leave that door of communication open. So hopefully they know the next time they feel badly, they can come to you for help and know that you won’t judge or punish them for how they’re feeling.

6 Teach them about Goal Setting

Teach your child the importance of setting goals and developing a plan to meet that goal and complete that task.

Small projects are the best to start off with in the beginning.

Ensure that it’s an appropriate task for your child, and not too complex. Don’t only give praise at the end of the project, but praise their accomplishments during the project as well.

7 Encourage your Child to Feel Important

It’s imperative for a child’s healthy development to feel important and worthy.  Healthy self-esteem is a child’s armor against the challenges of the world.

Kids who feel good about themselves seem to have an easier time handling conflicts and resisting negative pressures.

They tend to smile more readily and enjoy life.

These kids are realistic and generally optimistic. It’s also been shown that children who feel important are well-rounded, respectful, and excel in academics, extracurricular activities and hobbies and develop healthy relationships with their peers.

 In contrast, for children who do not feel important or cherished have low self-esteem, and challenges can become sources of major anxiety and frustration. Children who think poorly of themselves have a hard time finding solving problems, and may become passive, withdrawn, or depressed.

8 Celebrate your child’s uniqueness

Just like a fingerprint, every child is unique in their own special way.

Every child has a unique way of feeling, thinking, and interacting with others. Some children are shy, while others are outgoing; some are active, while others are calm; some are fretful, while others are easy-going.

As a loving and nurturing parent, it’s your job to encourage them to embrace their uniqueness and celebrate their individual qualities.

Allow your child to express themselves through their interests. They may find a creative outlet in theatre, dancing or art, or they may be exceptionally talented in the sciences.

Encourage them to embrace what they like to do, what interests them, and what makes them happy. Help them realize that they don’t need to worry about being ‘like everyone else.’

9 Discipline Your Child

Be firm yet fair when handing down discipline for misdeeds or misbehaviors, and make certain the rules and consequences for breaking the rules are clearly defined.

Show a cooperative, loving and united front with your spouse when it comes to discipline.

Remember that your child is an individual. Allow your child to have his or her own personal preferences and feelings, which may be different from your own.

10 Remind them to accept themselves

And finally, encourage your child to be true to themselves by doing the same.

Show your child how to make positive choices with the choices you make, and that nobody is perfect and you too make mistakes.

Show your child that mistakes can be a great learning experience, and that they should not be ashamed or embarrassed about making them.

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