Building self confidence in children
Self–esteem is often seen as a personality trait, which tends to be stable and enduring. it’s easy to notice when children seem to feel good about themselves and when they don’t. We often describe this idea of feeling good about ourselves as “self-esteem.”
Children tends to feel good about themselves when they
- Are able to do things they can’t do before
- Get praise for good behavior
- Make friends and get along
- They feel understood and accepted
- Help, give and are kind
- Learn new skills
- Do things they love
- Are being listen to
- Get a reward for what they earned
How self esteem develops
Self esteem develops overtime, it can start as early as a child is born, it starts to develop when a child gets positive attention and care. self esteem builds in a child when they feel safe, loved and accepted
As babies become toddlers and grow into young children, their self esteem also grow, they are able to do things all by themselves, they feel good about themselves when they can use their new skills and when their parents or careers pay attention to them, smiles at them or show they are proud of them.
Children with self esteems tends to ;
- Feel proud of what they can do
- Feel good about themselves
- Belief in themselves
- Feel liked and accepted
- Feel confident
- feel capable
Whereas children with low self esteem tends to
- be hard on themselves
- Feel unacceptable
- Lack confidence
- Feels they are not as good as other children
- Doubt they can do things well
- Think of times when they fail rather than when they success
It is difficult for children with low self worth to do well in their academic particularly in the task that involves reading and writing and in the world at large. Also lack of self worth could also lead to frustration, anxiety and anger, that is why it is important for you as a parent or career to help develop your child self worth as early as possible because a positive sense of self worth is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child.
Children with high self-esteem feel loved and competent and develop into happy, productive people. To help build your child’s positive self-image as he grows, consider the following do’s and don’ts of raising a child self esteem
Do’s of raising a child self esteem
- Do give children choices; giving children choices makes them feel empowered, you can make children choose from your pre-selected options for example during breakfast you can say ‘will you like to have weetabix or cornflakes ‘ ? letting children make simple choices when they are still young will help prepare them for more difficult choices that will arise as they grow.
- Do let him know its ok to make mistake; let him know that no one is perfect and that its ok to make mistake, through mistake he can become better, the way you react to children’s errors colors the way he will react
- Do assign to them age appropriate responsibility; give children task such as tidying up their toys, putting away their plate after meal, watering the plants.., through this simple chores their feeling of competency will increase and their problem solving skills will improve
- Do give children attention; no matter your busy schedule do try to spend some alone time with children at least once a week, this serve as a great opportunity to know what’s on their mind or what’s bothering them thus cementing the bond that you both share.
Don’ts of raising children self esteem
Don’t do everything for them; though doing things for children is quite easy and fast but it’s not helping them in any way, try to be patient with children even if they are slow. Letting children do things themselves helps them learn new skills, and the more they meet new challenges the more competent and confident they will feel.
Don’t over praise; praise that doesn’t feel earned doesn’t ring true for example instead of saying what a creative painting, you said something like ‘’wow! what an artist you are, giving a child a praise he doesn’t earn could make him feel hollow and fake. its better to say ‘’wow what a creative painting, if you persist you could be a great artist tomorrow thus building their confidence.
Don’t use harsh words; the words children hear from other can easily translate into how they feel about themselves. harsh words like ‘you are silly’ are harmful, when children hears negative words about themselves it damage their self esteem. Correct children in love and patience, focus on what you want them to do and show them how to do it.
Don’t stress too much on their mistakes; Stressing too much on a child’s mistake make its difficult for them to move past the situation and move on.
Don’t compare them with other; all children are unique in their own ways and tends to do things in their own ways and pace , don’t compare them with other especially their siblings; many parent unintentionally do this for example they could say your brother stopped bedwetting when he was 4yrs and you are already 6yrs, this words could make a child develop low self esteem thus damaging their confidence.
Don’t protect them from their emotion; How we react to children emotion can have a great impact on the development of their emotional intelligence and self esteem, when children are sad let them know it’s ok to cry after crying they will feel better, do not say ‘’big boys don’t cry’’, make it easier for them to deal with their emotions and help them identify what triggers their emotion and teach them how to self regulate.
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