The foundations of self-esteem are laid very early in life when infants develop attachments with the adults
who are responsible for them. When adults respond quickly to their infant’s cries and smiles, the child
learns to trust their caregivers and feels safe, loved, valued and accepted. As a toddler, their self-esteem is
strengthened when they wander away from their caregiver and return to be accepted and safe again.
Self-esteem relates to the view one has of him or herself as competent, worthy, belonging and lovable.
Praising your children all the time will do more harm than good you can rest assured about that. Instead of doing this all the time, try focusing on only the most important things. Praise them when they do something really commendable. That way, you will boost their confidence and aspire them to do good and behave nicely at all times.
Be a parent but most importantly, be a person whom they can trust and rely on. They need your support more than you know and most of the time, they will act like they do not but that is not the truth. If you choose a good approach, full of understanding, that just might work and result in your kids doing great in their lives. For example, if your kid or kids are into sports, cheer for them, be their fan, support all their activities in every way you can.
Children with a healthy sense of self-esteem feel that the important people in their life accept them, care
about them, and would go out of their way to ensure that they are safe and well. Children with low selfesteem,
on the other hand, feel the opposite.
If you are separated or divorced, involved in a high-conflict relationship if visitation with a non-custodial
parent is sporadic, or if your child is ‘caught in the middle’ of disputes, your son or daughter’s self-esteem
will be affected. He or she will not have as much opportunity for having ‘good feelings’ about him/herself,
and the result will most likely be low self-esteem.
Here are some helpful hints for supercharging your child’s self-esteem:
• When your child is talking to you, give them your full attention;
• Do not compare your child negatively to others (siblings, relatives, or friends);
• If you have more than one child, arrange for individual time to spend together;
• Reassure your child with words and actions that you love, support, and accept him/her, daily;
• Respond positively to your child’s interests, and provide encouragement to pursue them;
• Help him/her learn to build healthy relationships with family members and peers;
• Keep lines of communication open so that they can express their feelings and thoughts to you;
• Without excessive praise or flattery, regularly emphasize their strengths and abilities;
• Set achievable (realistic & age-appropriate) goals for them to ensure success every day;
• Separate your emotional reaction to a negative behavior from the child him/herself;
• Discipline with logical consequences that fit the crime;
• Treat them like you love them, always!
Share some of your self-esteem building tips or tell us what you think.