Happy New Year everyone and we a getting back into the blogs. We are kicking of 2020 with advice on how to boost a child´s self-esteem. Firstly I am going to talk a little bit about why self-esteem is so important. If children have higher self-esteem they are more likely to feel confident about trying new things. This means they are more likely to find new hobbies or things that interest them. Also, when mistakes are made children are more likely to cope with this well and try again rather than give up at the first hurdle. This is important when you are younger because they are still learning so children will regularly make mistakes and fail. What you don´t want to happen is let this affect them from trying again at a given task or activity.
Often children with lower self-esteem can worry that other children won’t accept them so are less likely to join in. Also, they might find it harder to stand up for themselves causing them to give up easily. When you are younger it is the time to be carefree and try new things so they can find out what they enjoy. Therefore low self-esteem can be very detrimental to a childs growth.
The main thing to understand about self-esteem is that it doesn´t just appear one day. It builds up slowly over time and can start from children feeling safe and accepted. As children start being able to do more things by themselves they can use their new skills. Often when parents or carers show they are proud of them and pay attention to their achievement then the child´s self-esteem will grow. Self-esteem can grow when children are trying something new and hard or simply when they are good at something they enjoy.
So now that we have established the importance of self-esteem let`s dive right into the 5 main tips to help boost a child´s self-esteem.
1. Encourage them to do things around the house. This is often important because a child’s self-esteem will grow when they feel like they are doing something that helps other people and matters to them. If children help out around the house or contribute in a school project they will feel good about these acts of kindness. This, in turn, can make the child feel a lot happier about the impact they are having so can boost their self-esteem. Also, at every age, there are new tasks or activities that children can help with. Once children reach milestones like being able to dress themselves or washing their own plates then let them do it, even if they are not perfect yet. Then praise them for the progress they have made but only when they deserve it. It is important to help them out with these tasks to begin with, you can slowly introduce more complex activities then can do. Be patient and don´t rush it because this can cause stress and reduced self-esteem for the child if they can´t do the activity yet.
2. Allow them to take healthy risks. Let children explore on their own and see what they can achieve on their own. You want to be there to guide them but not restrict their potential. Children can develop an understanding of what is right and wrong while you care for them but don´t shelter them from everything.
3. Set goals and don´t let them give up. Having small milestones along the way can be really helpful even if it is only a small task. This helps children see the progress they are making. You can sit down and talk to the child about what they might want to work towards but you need to make sure the goals are at reach or an appropriate level for the child because if they can´t do the task yet this could damage their self-esteem. It is important to remember that even if two children are the same age they might not be at the same level yet so make sure the goals and tasks are approximate for what the child can achieve.
4. Don´t over-praise them. Don´t overpraise children when they are not really deserving of it because this can cause more harm than good. If a child knows they didn´t do well on a game they played but the parents said they did great then they will know this is hollow and fake. This will make them feel undeserving and lied to. Instead, it would be better to say something encouraging like “I can see that you are improving well done.”
It is important to avoid only praising results and instead make sure you consider the amount of effort that has been put into the task. You could also look at the amount of improvements that has been made, not just if they got the top mark. Also, there is no need to have harsh criticism if they do something wrong or can´t do it. Motivate them to keep going with the task and don´t use harmful words like lazy or incompetent. You can be patient with them and show them the correct way to do it so they can continue to learn. In addition, you can focus on their strengths. Pay attention to what the child does well and enjoys.
5. Be a good role model. It is important for children to have an example to look up to. If you put effort into everyday tasks then they are more likely to have to right attitude when doing similar tasks. They will copy the way you approach tasks and activities so make sure you put effort in and don´t give up. Show children that the reward at the end makes all the effort worthwhile.
I hope these tips were helpful in figuring out what is the best way to boost the self-esteem of children. These tips are helpful for both parents and babysitters and can be applied to many situations. If you find these more informative blog posts useful please let us know down in the comments.