Because it’s a tough time to be a kid. The teen suicide rate is soaring. More than one out of every five students says they have been bullied.Pressure for kids to achieve academically is at an all time high. That’s why bolstering your child’s self-esteem is so essential.
Self-confidence comes from a sense of competence. A confident child needs a positive and realistic perception of his or her abilities. This arises out of achievements, great and small. Your encouraging words can help develop this confidence, especially when you refer to your child’s specific efforts or abilities. Here are some tips on how to build your child’s self esteem:
Do let him know no one is perfect. And explain that no one expects him to be. The way you react to your child’s mistakes and disappointments colors the way he will react.
Don’t draw comparisons between your children. Instead, appreciate each one’s individuality and special gifts.
Don’t call children names or use sarcasm to make a point. Never belittle your child’s feelings. When you get angry take a short break so you don’t say anything you’ll regret. And keep in mind, you can dislike a child’s actions without disliking the child. Be sure to illustrate the difference to your child.
Do spend one-on-one time with your child. Whether it’s grabbing a bite to eat or taking a bike ride, try to schedule some alone time with your child at least once a week. This is a great opportunity to talk about what’s on her mind and to cement the bond the two of you share.
Don’t do everything for her. Be patient and let her work things out for herself. For example, it may be faster and easier to dress your preschooler, but letting her do it herself helps her learn new skills. The more she meets new challenges, the more competent and confident she’ll feel.
Teach resilience. No one succeeds at everything all the time. There will be setbacks and failures, criticism and pain. Use these hurdles as learning experiences rather than dwelling on the events as failures or disappointments.
Support their pursuit of a passion. Everyone excels at something, and it’s great when your child discovers that something. As a parent, respect and encourage your child’s interests—even if they don’t interest you.
Coach relationship skills. Confidence in relationships is key to your child’s self-confidence. The most important initial relationship is the loving parent-child relationship. But as your child’s social circle expands, you will help her see how her actions affect others and help her learn to maintain an inner core of confidence when someone else’s actions affect her
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