To develop the self-esteem and esteem of others, children need to know that what they think, feel and do is important.
Your child’s self-esteem is highly dependent on you. Your words and actions, as a parent, have the power to develop or diminish it.
How to help build a strong self-esteem?
The best way to help your child achieve this is to let him know he is loved. You can contribute to this feeling in different ways.
- Highlight his new skills with positive comments. This can make him even more proud of a success of which he was already very proud.
- Encourage him to face new or frustrating situations. Accompany him, however, so that he does not feel overwhelmed. Make sure you place it in situations where you know it is likely to succeed.
- Treat him with respect. It’s one of the best ways to teach your child to respect and respect others. Show him your consideration by listening carefully to what he says and taking it seriously. If you do not agree with him or do not like what he’s doing, talk to him using phrases that start with “I feel like …” and “I believe than… “. In order not to seem to criticize and judge him, avoid starting your sentences with “You are …”.
- Teach your child to feel proud of his strengths. However, make him understand that being proud of his talents does not mean feeling superior to others or being condescending.
- Teach him that everyone can make mistakes. If you made a mistake, admit it. If he made a mistake, explain to him why it was a problem, but nothing more. By not humiliating your child when he makes a mistake, you preserve his self-esteem and the confidence he needs to succeed in life.
- Have age-appropriate expectations for your toddler. Do not think it will grow faster if you push it a lot. However, avoid placing the bar too low. You would then send him the message that he is not good enough.
Behaviors to avoid
Studies show that parents are harming their child’s self-esteem when:
- They ridicule their little one;
- They humiliate or punish him because he has not succeeded;
- They expect him to be perfect or to be constantly successful;
- They always seem to be losing interest in him.
Positive comments every day
Unfortunately, we all tend to pay more attention to what is wrong than what is going well. This encourages children to send exasperated and critical words.
Remember, your child does more good than harm in one day, and needs encouragement and positive feedback. So try every day to say at least 3 benevolent and constructive things to your child, and even to your partner. Remember that we all need positive feedback from our loved ones, no matter how old we are.
Also be careful not to ask too much of you as a parent: it will only hurt you in your own self-esteem and inspire you to over-demand your child.