How we feel about ourselves is called self-esteem. It means that we feel special, valuable and worthy. It shows how we feel about ourselves around people and what they think of us as a human and how they value us.
As for children they are still into learning phase and they face negative feedback and experience failure at many points therefore it is difficult for them to build their self-esteem.
Why is it important to have a positive self-esteem?
Slow learning is more devastating than having poor self-esteem. The way we feel about ourselves effects our life as a whole i.e. our happiness, career, education and relationships.
Children who have greater self-esteem have following characteristics:
Health, better approach towards solving problems, are less effected by upcoming problems, happy relationships, more fearless to try new things, are ambitious and determined and they have better behavior.
Developing self-esteem can help improve child’s academic career and also his life. It can have enormous magical effect on a child’s life.
How to develop self-esteem & self-confidence:
When children do something which involves effort they need to be encouraged for their efforts even if they do not succeed in that certain thing. They should be given positive remarks for routinely small little things so that they don’t get discouraged and don’t leave struggle in their daily lives. Give them reward for success in any task they do and encourage them if they face failure.
Groom their talent:
Point out/find out your child’s talent and groom it. Encourage them to build their confidence and avoid comparing your child with other children. Keep your expectations real based on ability of your child.
Make your child feel important:
Encourage your child to express his feelings openly to you and let you know about your likes and dislikes. Respect their likes and dislikes. Encourage him to make decisions on his own.
Make your child feel the responsibility:
Give your child different tasks that he needs to complete in the school and outside the school. In this way child feels responsible and feels a sense of accomplishment and responsibility. Make them a part of major contribution to class in some way appropriate to make them feel responsible n important.
Draw the limits:
Rules make us help feel sense of security. Make the expectations clear as to what they need to accomplish in their life. This helps build self-esteem.
It is more secure feeling to have a predictable day when we know that what we need to do and when. They then understand the expectations and the road which they have to follow to reach the goal. If there is a set routine child would know when to show up with his work finished.
A person is known by the company he keeps:
When your child is 6 years old he is more prone to be influenced by peer influence. Peer influence means friends introduce bad habits by pressurizing emotionally. Make them closer to positive peer influences.
Listen to their hearts:
Encourage children to say out loud what they feel and how they want to be dealt with. Make sure you are there to listen to them and then repeat what they expressed to make sure that it was what they wanted to say and to let them know that you heard it.
Reflect their personality positively:
Child is not adult enough to perceive things himself in a right way. So they look towards you that how you perceive their personalities. Do not evaluate only their performances but also their abilities. Do not always keep going about what not to do just let them know how they can be better and what is better way.
Praise and surpeise:
Surprise your child off and on without waiting for very special occasions. Praise their tiny little things, efforts and attributes to make them learn that what makes them so special. Be realistic and praise them at the spot.
Improving your children’s self-esteem:
It starts at home:
Of course as every other thing that a child starts to learn is at home. Self-esteem also starts to develop at home. Parents are responsible for first perception of a child about his personality and value. Parents should spend time with their children and should listen to them and value them making their relationship grow in a positive way.
Be a safe haven for your child.
The child who faces difficulty learning something experiences negative feedback from fellows and parents ultimately makes a negative image of himself after repeated negative responses. Encourage your child to keep struggling and praise their efforts. Make a favorable environment such that your child doesn’t feel guilty of anything which was not his intentional fault.
Praise And mean it:
Whenever your child does something praise him with genuine enthusiasm and zeal. Say it like you mean it. Praise should be given often to make it work better, Also ask your child what he likes in his work or himself and make other people participate in that praise. Do not only look at the outcome but also at the efforts he did meanwhile. Let your child take time to answer a particular question. He may take longer but will ultimately give the correct answer. This provides a sense of motivation to the child to excel more with hard work.
Whisper about the negative things in your child:
Always criticize in secret when you are alone with the child. Do not publicize what your child lacks and what he does wrong. This lowers the self-esteem profoundly. Do not abuse or hit at his personality directly just point out and give solutions to what characteristics he lacks. Do not criticize your child often and also praise his good and positive behavior along with so that he may not get repressed by your constant pointing out. As much as possible you should ignore negativity of your child and you should reward your child as much possible. This would help your child not to make a negative image of you and also will help him make himself better.
Expect according to the child’s strengths:
Do not expect more than your child can manage this would only make him feel depressed over the failure neither expect less than his strengths because he would lose the motivation seeing that tasks are easy to achieve without considerable struggle.
Polish his strengths:
As a parent you should work over the strengths and interests of your child and then support and encourage them to groom them. This way they would be confident in what they like to do, this would help them build their self-esteem in the long run.
Show your child that nobody is perfect:
Show your child that everybody has strengths and weaknesses. Tell him about your own strengths and weaknesses so that he may understand that he is not the only one with weaknesses. Also ask your child to give suggestions to improve your weaknesses so that he might feel confident and useful therefor building his self-esteem.
Comparison should be done in order to improve the performance and make it better than the past performance. Therefore comparison of your child’s performance should be done with his past performance and not with other children. In this way he would not be depressed and would try to do better.
The two sides of the picture:
Show your child that he is not only a failure if he is not successful in one filed of life. Give him tasks in which he can succeed so that he can see that he is not useless failure only. This would make him stronger and willing to try harder in the field in which he is not successful. Keep a balance in success and failure and don’t let him close himself up in the box of shame only. Imagine if you would be facing a job all day in which you are a complete failure. Wouldn’t you be depressed?? Same goes for children. They need to see that they are not a failure only.