how to increase your child's self esteem
Child Psychology

9 Ways To Increase Your Child’s Self Esteem!

How to increase your child’s self esteem is an extremely important skill that every parent needs to have in their toolbox. In this article we will discover why self esteem is so important and things to do to increase self esteem in our children!

how to increase self esteem in our kids

Why is Self Esteem Important In Our Children?

How to increase your child’s self esteem is a very, very important piece of information that every parent must know. The overall wellbeing of children, including their happiness and development is influenced by their levels of self-esteem. Developing self-esteem allows our kids to ask for assistance in everyday situations and gives them to ability to defend themselves when they need to.

picture shows three kids smiling to emphasise the idea of positive self eteem in kids

Reasons You Should Want Want To Increase Your Child’s Self Esteem

We should want to increase our kids self esteem in order so that they can be resilient, accomplish goals, and become self motivated and be able (as we said before) to defend and stand up for themselves, when the situation calls for it.

Children who have lower self-esteem give up earlier than their peers on goals and priorities. They also tend to avoid situations that may increase the risk of social embarrassment.

Having low self esteem can affect a childs ability to perform academically as well as their future levels of health & welfare. Having better levels of self esteem will influence their chances of having more workplace success, stronger social bonds, superior coping mechanisms and being perceived well of by their peers.

There are so many advantages to fostering an atmosphere that will increase our kids self esteem. When children receive the right help and succeed, they realise that perseverance pays off and become more open to taking on new tasks. Even when they don’t succeed, they pick themselves up and move on feeling okay about themselves.

What Causes Low Self Esteem in Kids?

As it turns out, it is pretty easy to guess what sort of negative factors cause damage and hinders our job of trying to increase our kids self esteem. Most of us have experienced some of these factors, during our childhoods, so it doesn’t really take a huge stretch to figure out what they are.

  • It turns out that over heaping false praise on our kids, has actually does a lot more harm than good. Not only are children able to realise when they are being praised too much – it can actually make them expect rewards, without appropriate effort! Real and genuine praise is more effective, especially when it focuses on a specific and measurable outcome, (because it is more likely to be believed by the child).
  • It may seem obvious, but did you know that being overweight has also been shown to negatively effect a child’s sense of self-esteem?
  • Feeling stressed at school and by school work, also has negative effects. When parents are critical and call the child negative names or compare them unfavourably with another sibling, this also fail to help us increase our kids self esteem. Being under academic pressure also seems to negatively effect children, as does being their family having a lower socioeconomic status than their peers.

Ways To Increase Our Kids Self Esteem

Give Authentic Credit

As discussed above, a child knows when you are giving ‘fake’ praise and accolades, instead of authentic ones.  A good tip for your kids is to have them create a journal or even a box, an “authentic credit box”. When someone gives a compliment, or praises them on a job truly well done, they should write it down and put it in this box.

The praises, can be used to help boost morale on days when their confidence is not doing so well! They already know that these achievements are real and legitimate, so they will actually work. Don’t forget to focus on the unique qualities in the specific child. It helps them specifically to highlight their individual talents and skills.

Be focused about what you are actually praising them about. Was the story they wrote full of interesting characters? Did they swim or run faster today than last week? As mentioned earlier, specific praise is more believable than something generic and made up. Kids are perceptive! In order to increase your child’s self esteem, consider creating a board with points on it can really help younger children and them hearing you saying specific things that they have achieved is really, really helpful and believable. And the visual element can help them understand.

Our kids won’t be perfect at everything the first time they start! Sometimes it can be more encouraging for them, to give them a task or exercise that’s just below their actual ability level. When they see that they can achieve it with ease, it will give them confidence to progress to higher levels. The same thing can be done with sports and other school subjects.

Start them for example in a lower softball team level, where they can become confident in their skills and work up. Not everything should be a competition! It’s about the process of your child, learning, growing and developing self- esteem! Now that’s a great goal. Let them learn how to succeed in an environment where they can actually achieve things

Focus On Their Competencies

The pillars of self-esteem really come down to feeling loved and secure, as well as feeling competent. As parents it comes naturally that we want our kids to feel loved and secure, however making them feel competent is trickier. In order to increase our kids self esteem it is important that we do both!

We can’t use forced praise, or love bombing to convince them that they are competent. To achieve competency, it has to be real and achieved over time as part of goals. Indeed, we are doing more harm than good when we give them too much praise.

If you always tell your child that they are amazing at some given task, they will not see the reason to push and further develop in that area. Doing something and failing, and then getting up again is what actually gives a child true confidence. You can’t just convince them, if it’s not based in reality.

Giving your child love, not just for what they achieve but for who they are, assists them into feeling like they are valuable. Helping them sense a feeling of belonging by being part of the family and being involved in groups within the community, also helps foster a sense of belongingness.

Use Mistakes As Opportunities To Build Self Esteem

Try not to focus on your child’s achievements constantly, because that will ultimately build in them the belief that they are only valued by you for what they achieve. Show them that they are loved by you unconditionally. When they make mistakes, you can use that as a learning tool and show them unconditional love. Show them how they can bounce back from each setback.

The struggle they go through will not hurt their self-esteem, if you show them how to overcome it and show them self-love. Allow them to make mistakes without coming under judgement. Another important thing to do for your kids is to keep your expectations realistic and show them how to have healthy expectations of themselves.

Support Them in Finding Good Quality Friends

Things like, having a good quality (if not a high number) group of friends, is a very positive influence on children’s self-esteem. Having a peer support group who will support them through the ups and downs will be very significant.

picture of a girl discovering a garden. Allowing children to pursue their own interests will increase their self esteem

Love Them For Who They Are Not What They Do

Giving your child love, not just for what they achieve but for who they are, makes great strides into them feeling like they are valuable. Helping them sense a feeling of belonging by helping them feel part of the family and being involved in groups within the community, also helps foster a sense of belongingness.

Let Them follow their interests

Find something that your child enjoys and is good at, and then encourage them to continue and make progress in that endeavour. This will give them a boost in confidence. Whatever the task, it doesn’t matter; it might be anything from painting their very own paitning, to learning a new trick in the pool, to finishing a level on their video games. The idea is for them to persevere so that, in the finish, they will experience a sense of satisfaction.

Allow Kids To Help You Around The Home

Allow your children to do various tasks around the house. My son Jarryd enjoys cooking and has his own gourmet recipe book. We let him cook various recipes including writing a list of ingredients and going shopping at the store. Kids need to know that their input counts!. Vacuuming, setting the table and other chores can be done even by younger children, to develop a sense of competency.

Give Children The Freedom To Choose

Allow your children to make age-appropriate choices, such as clothing choices, a blue or a red shirt? For older kids they will likely have their own taste and like to help pick clothes from the stores. and wheAre appropriate they can make choices between things to eat, ie. A banana or an apple.

It helps build a child’s self-esteem when they feel respected and valued enough to make their own decisions. It also helps them begin to understand a sense of self agency and self worth.

Let Your Child Take Age-Appropriate Risks

Every parent at one point or another feels tempted to butt in when their kid is about to make a mistake. But not all mistakes are life threatening or have devastating consequences! One of the best ways to actually build your child’s self esteem is to allow them to take risks, (ones that you have.. well, calculated). If your child tries to help mop the floor and spills some extra suds, the consequences are not really that bad.

They can then learn how to clean up some extra suds. Doing such small chores around the house is a perfect way to let them practice this. Taking risks is important at every age in life. Learning how to fix problems and not become overwhelmed by mistakes is a great learning opportunity and helps build self esteem!

Why You Absoutely Must Increase Your Child’s Self Esteem

Self esteem is so vital in our children’s development, and in becoming who they need to be. The benefits when we increase our child’s self esteem include: resiliency, feeling independent as well as knowing their own value and self worth. We ALL need to experience self esteem so that we can develop into the individuals that we need to be. Our kids need to increase self esteem on an individual and independent basis without being railroaded by the pressure of peers around us. I hope this article has inspired you and that you are able to put into action these 9 special ways to increase our kids self esteem!

Some further interesting studies on kids self esteem:

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