Self-esteem is the term used in psychology to refer to how you feel about yourself. When you have healthy self-esteem, you appreciate and like yourself and recognize your value. Having good self-esteem is integral to success. If you are always beating yourself up and never believe in your capabilities, it is significantly more difficult to accomplish your goals. People with healthy self-esteem have a positive attitude and are secure in their ability to do what they set out to do. With this in mind, it makes sense why you would want to foster positive self-esteem in your child. However, it isn’t as simple as heaping on tons of praise — in fact, this can backfire and have the opposite effect. Fortunately, if you take an informed approach, there are relatively simple ways you can help foster positive self-esteem in your child.
Don’t Fix All Their Problems
It’s important for your child to develop a sense of competence in order to have positive self-esteem. This won’t happen if you are jumping in every time they struggle to solve a puzzle or tie their shoe. Take a step back and let them take make decisions, take risks, and solve problems on their own. This doesn’t mean that you should never help them, but give them the opportunity to solve the issue themselves first, and intervene when they ask for your assistance.
When you want to make your kids feel good about themselves, it can be tempting to compliment them endlessly, but this can actually have the opposite effect. You want your child to feel loved, but if you are always telling them that they are the best, they lower their standard for themselves. Confidence comes from trying, failing, and then trying again, and when children are told they are perfect, then failure comes as a massive blow to their egos. Combat this by praising their efforts to improve, not their inherent talent for something. For example, instead of telling your child, “You’re so smart!” you can say, “I love how hard you’re trying.”
Let Them Choose
A great way to empower children is to give them age-appropriate choices. In life, we make hundreds of decisions each day, so teaching your child this skill now will help them be more confident in the more significant decisions they begin to make as they age. You might let your child decide what they are going to wear or let them pick out their snack. Even these simple decisions can give them more confidence in themselves.
Love and Accept Them Unconditionally
Make sure that your child understands that you love them unconditionally, whether they succeed or fail. This gives them the safe space they need to take risks without fear that you will only care for them if they are perfect.
At Foundations for Learning, we are committed to helping our students develop healthy self-esteem. If you’re looking for a daycare in Glastonbury that can help support you in this goal, contact us today for a tour.