Nurturing Children’s Self-Esteem.

I am the ultimate draughts champion!

I am the ultimate draughts champion!

Children generally have  high self-esteem; however, low self-esteem in children is most definitely a problem for our generation. A combination of busy schedules, lack of support, over-protectiveness and constant rushing means that it is all too easy for our children to develop self-esteem issues and even easier for us not to notice. Low-self esteem and lack of confidence can go hand-in-hand. Beware though, a shy child is not necessarily suffering from lack of self-confidence or from low self-esteem – they can just be shy.

Children struggling with their self esteem may display the following traits:

  • Negativity – a lack of belief in themselves or their ability to attempt a task. i.e. ‘there is no point in me even trying as I always get it wrong.’

  • Mood swings – tearfulness, anger, frustration or quietness.

  • Becomes socially withdrawn – not wanting to play with his friends, sticking to the outskirts in the playground.

  • School work declines – if your child has always excelled but then stops excelling in a certain subject, that can be a signal that all is not well.

Children will inevitably display a few of these traits along the journey that is childhood, but if they are displaying this behaviour repeatedly, you may want to address their self-esteem. So how do you do that? Our instincts would be to kill them with kindness, tell them everything they do is amazing and generally not let the wind blow on them; however, this could cause more damage then good.

A few steps you could take though are :

Enhance security and trust: Reinforce the fact that your child can trust and be trusted. When your child is talking to you, give them your full attention and listen to them. If you make a promise, keep it.

Increase their self-worth: Give your child a few chores to do – sweep the floor, make their own sandwich, even just put away their own toys. This gives your child a sense of purpose, along with a sense of pride in what they can and have achieved.

Children love doing simple chores!

Children love doing simple chores!

Removing his own stabilisers!

Removing his own stabilisers!

Encourage decision-making: Allow your child to be involved in a little family decision-making, just something as small as choosing where to go for a family walk, or choose a dinner they would like to have that week.

Teach them to accept weakness: It is okay to not be the best in something. It is okay to make mistakes. Maybe try a different way next time!

Parental encouragement: Positive feedback and encouragement are so important to children – you will not give them a ‘big head’ by telling them something they did well was well done! Avoid negative criticism such as ‘oh you fell over again, I am not surprised you are always so clumsy.’

It is O.K. to lose!

It is O.K. to lose!

A positive home: There is no point in speaking positively to your child and then turning around and biting your partner’s head off. As a family, treat each other with respect – focus on each other’s strengths not weaknesses, and take the time to enjoy doing things together as a family, be it a jigsaw puzzle or a hike up the Sugarloaf!

Happy Family Outings!

Happy Family Outings!

The more positive and secure your child feels about themselves and their immediate environs, the more likely it is that their sense of self will strenghten. I have studied childcare and I know children – however, I am not a healthcare professional. If you have serious concerns and don’t feel you can address them properly, a visit to a child health specialist will help you figure out the next steps!

Thanks for reading,

Aisling

I love all feedback, please feel free to add you thoughts and comments.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Irish Parenting Bloggers | Nurturing Children’s Self-Esteem.
  2. office mum
    Jan 28, 2015 @ 22:10:54

    This is so good – really great information there. I do worry about this with my kids. Super, practical tips here.

    Reply

  3. BabySteps
    Jan 29, 2015 @ 13:10:28

    Thanks Office Mum, it is a tricky one as children display a lot of these traits anyway. We worry about so many things when it comes to our children that I am loathe to mention another one, but promoting their sense of self is a biggie for their future confidence.

    Reply

  4. Trackback: Best Post | BabySteps

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