Improving Self-Esteem in Children: The Role of Parents

  • June 10, 2019
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  • Study Skills
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Improving Self-Esteem in Children: The Role of Parents

When children are at the development stage, they struggle to build and keep healthy self-esteem. This can be caused by many obstacles, including challenges at school or feelings of inferiority at home.

Children who have low self-esteem are overly self-critical and hard on themselves. They feel as if they’re not as good as their peers and often compare themselves with others. They think more about the times they failed rather than when they succeeded. Basically lacking confidence, these children constantly doubt they can do anything well.

Some children are more naturally confident than others. There are also kids who face things that lead them to lose confidence in themselves. However, self-esteem is something that can be improved with the help of parents.

What are some things that parents can do to improve their child’s self-esteem?

  • Offer them praise

    Children work better when they receive praise. However, parents should refrain from overpraising their children. This can lead children to become overconfident and arrogant. Overpraise feels hollow because it is not based on something that the child can see on their own. Praise should be based on effort and things that a child should feel proud of — their interest in learning, curiosity, patience, good manners, etc.

  • Teach them how to do things

    Instead of helping them complete their tasks, parents should teach children how to do things independently. Parents may think they’re helping the child by completing their work for them or assisting them in their homework, but they’re actually just interrupting the child’s learning process. Struggling to learn is a part of the process and the best that parents can do is be patient with their child.

  • Model the right attitude

    Children take after their parents and adopt similar behaviors as them. If the parent has low self-esteem, the child is likely to develop low self-esteem as well. Parents should model what they want to see in their children by becoming the best versions of themselves.

  • Avoid harsh criticism

    Children have sensitive egos since their sense of self is only at its early development stage. If parents are overly critical, damage to the self-esteem of a child is unavoidable. Parents need to be patient and kind with their words. Children do not have the maturity to digest harsh criticism, it is best to make the criticism constructive and helpful. Focusing on the process of completing a task is more important than the child’s ability to do it, so criticizing a child’s lack of natural ability is only going to bring negative results.

  • Communicate

    Parents should talk to their children as much as they can. Keeping their maturity in mind, parents should discuss all sorts of things with their kids. This will develop a sense of responsibility and self-respect, building confidence in the child. Nobody likes to be treated with disrespect and that does not exclude children. Kids need to feel listened to in order to grow healthy self-esteem.

  • Enhance their abilities

    Some children are naturally inclined to certain things. For example, a child may be musically gifted. There are also children who have an excellent ability to learn languages. Parents can notice their child’s talent and natural abilities before anyone else if they pay attention. They should do whatever they can to enhance their child’s skills, discussing it with their teachers and providing the necessary materials for their development. Knowing that they have something that they’re good at is going to help children with their self-esteem significantly.

Children need their parents to believe in them. This faith and support can help them understand themselves better. It is ultimately their sense of self that leads them to become productive members of society once they grow into adults. With self-esteem, children feel liked, accepted, confident, proud of what they can do, and think good things about and believe in themselves.

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