Helping your child to feel good about themselves provides a foundation of confidence long into adulthood. As parents, how can you give your kids the tools for facing challenges positively?
Creating a solid foundation of self-esteem early in your child’s life gives them the tools needed to face the challenges and changes that lie ahead.
Fostering self-confidence means they can feel good about themselves and their choices, opening them up to new opportunities and possibilities without fear of failing.
It’s important to remember that having good self-esteem doesn't mean arrogance or overconfidence; it’s about liking yourself, knowing what you’re good at, and having confidence in your own decision-making process.
So how can you give your child confidence? We look at some useful strategies.
A ‘have a go’ attitude
Encourage your kids to try out new skills from an early age, making them understand that it’s ok thing to just ‘have a go’, even if they’re not successful the first time. Real confidence comes from knowing that failure is part of the process of learning.
What does your child enjoy doing? Perhaps they like sport, art or playing a musical instrument? Whatever their preferences, involvement in an activity they enjoy will give them a sense of satisfaction and well being.
Focusing on strengths
Positive affirmation, rather than concentrating on the negatives, will give your children confidence to keep trying out new skills, instead of feeling anxious about failure.
If they get upset about a lack of success, listen to their worries, then give possible solutions for how to approach the activity next time. Helping them to learn problem-solving skills will give them valuable life tools.
An important aspect to consider is your own self-esteem as a parent – are you habitually critical of yourself? Do you focus on the negatives of a new challenge rather than the positive? If so, you could be unintentionally influencing your child. As their model for behaviour, they look to you for how to react, copying your actions and words. How can you improve your own self-image?
Feeling loved and valued is essential for building self-esteem. Try setting regular times to spend with your children to give them a sense of belonging. Another idea is to develop unique family routines, such as a story at bedtime or preparing a special meal together.
Encourage sociable behaviour
Forming friendships with other children is a great way to build self-esteem. Humans are naturally sociable and learning to empathise and enjoy the company of others is an integral part of growing up. Encourage your kids to invite their friends over for play dates.
If you’re worried that your child lacks self-esteem, you can get help. Talk to teachers, other family members, or call Parent Line NSW . They provide phone and online support and are staffed by experienced counsellors.
Source: Raising Children Network: About self-esteem
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Disclaimer: This article does not give professional advice. The contents constitute general information of a summary nature of interest and relevance at the time of publication. You should not rely on the contents as professional advice but should seek, formal advice in particular matters relevant to your particular situation
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