The fact of the matter is that a lot of people have a strong opinion on the importance of self esteem in children. There are some people who have a negative opinion and believe too much emphasis is placed on self esteem nowadays. On the other side of the coin, others believe strongly that self esteem development in children is crucial.
Both sides are valid. There is probably too much emphasis on self esteem today, however at the same time, children need to believe in themselves. The good news is that a happy medium can be found. The emphasis shouldn’t be on building self esteem, but rather helping children learn and grow so they naturally develop a feeling of value and worth.
The truth is, self esteem is a major key to success in life. The development of a positive self concept is extremely important to the happiness and success of children.
If you are unclear on what self esteem is, it is defined as how someone feels about him or herself. Behavior displayed clearly reflects those feelings. If your child has high self esteem, she is likely to act independently, be responsible and, take pride in her accomplishments. He or she will also tolerate frustration, attempt new tasks and challenges, handle positive and negative emotions, and offer assistance to others. If your child has low self esteem, he or she will avoid trying new things, feel unloved and unwanted, blame others for his or her own shortcomings, feel emotionally indifferent, be unable to tolerate a normal level of frustration, put down his own talents and abilities, and be easily influenced.
Parents have the most influence on their child’s sense of self worth. Most parents do not realize how great an impact their words and actions have on their child.
Always Praise your Child
When you feel good about your child, mention it to him or her. Parents are often quick to express negative feelings to children but often don’t get around to describing positive feelings. A child doesn’t know when you are feeling good about him unless you tell him or her. He or she needs to hear you say that you like having him or her in the family. Children remember positive statements we say to them. They store them up and “replay” these statements to themselves. Make a point of giving your child words of encouragement throughout each day. Look for situations in which your child is doing a good job, working hard, trying a new challenge, overcoming a difficulty or displaying a talent. Be sure to always be descriptive with your praise too instead of saying something general like “good job”. Your child will appreciate that.
Emphasize the Importance of Positive Self Talk
It is important to teach your child to practice making positive self statements. Psychologists have found that negative self talk is frequently the root cause of depression and anxiety. What you think determines how you feel about yourself and those feelings determine how you behave. This is the reason it is important to teach children talk to themselves in a positive manner. You can start them off by asking directed questions.
Never Resort to Name Calling
It is crucial for parents to be critical, and the focus should be on the action you would like to see rather than the child. Rather than calling a child a slob for keeping a messy room focus on the desired action, which is to sort clothes and toys into their proper places. Encourage the child by saying something like “I know you can get this place ship shape by dinner” and reward them with specific praise “You did a great job cleaning up your room”.
Always Speak Of Your Child As If He or She Were Listening
Many parents do a wonderful job of building up their child’s self esteem while spending time with the child. Then later they undo all their good work and let the child overhear some negative comments. It is difficult to explain away or undo this damage as you may well not even know when it occurs. Obviously parents need to communicate with each other about their children and adults often need to vent their frustrations. Just make sure when you do so that your child is not able to overhear. Even a child who is apparently concentrating on play will perk his or her ears when he hears his or her name.
Parents who follow these 4 methods will be helping their children in a huge way- that will help nourish their self esteem.