"Parents need to fill a child's self-esteem so high that the rest of the world can't poke enough holes to drain it dry" - Alvin Price
Self-esteem is the sum of beliefs and the feelings we have about ourselves and about our abilities. And obviously, our behaviors clearly reflect those feelings. As per the psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the need of self-esteem must be fulfilled in order for an individual to grow as a person and achieve self-actualization, which is achieving individual potential.
People with low self-esteem usually criticize themselves and have negative beliefs about themselves. They tend to focus on their weaknesses only and on the mistakes they have made, and may find it hard to recognize the positive parts of their personality. They often blame themselves for any difficulties or failure. On the contrary, people with high self-esteem are more able to recognize their values and strengths and accept their weaknesses at the same time. People with higher self-esteem are generally more confident in all aspects.
Many factors can influence the development of a child’s self-esteem: genetic factors, his own experiences, family, school and peers are all important elements that can affect the buildup of our children’s self-esteem. As parents, we can do a lot to improve our children’s self-image and self-belief.
Here are 10 tips to help your children feeling six feet tall and able to do anything they put their mind into:
- Look after their physical health: teach them that taking good care of themselves makes them feel happier and improve their self-image.
- Improve their weaknesses: instead of looking down to their weak points, have reasonable expectations from them and help them set achievable goals according to their abilities.
- Celebrate their uniqueness: stop comparing them to other siblings or friends as this can deeply hurt their self-esteem. Just like a fingerprint, every child is unique in his own special way!
- Replace criticism with praise: after all, criticism is the number one cause of low self-esteem. Always praise effort rather than the end result and keep in mind that praise must be specific and authentic.
- Nurture their strengths: remind them of their positive points such as qualities they have and positive things they have done. Together, you can make a list of their personal achievements.
- Engage them in activities they enjoy as this is where they feel confident and see the best version of them.
- Develop their potential by various kinds of extra-curricular activities which encourage social connections and a sense of contribution. For example, scout association, or community volunteering service…
- Give them choices: give them opportunities to express a personal opinion and make small decisions plays a major role into developing a child’s self-confidence.
- Teach them to be assertive: don’t allow your children to struggle with not being able to stand up for themselves. Teach them how to say no to peer pressure and let people treat them with respect.
- Challenge them by trying something new. To grow, kids must expand their comfort zone, by exploring things they never tried before. This is, in my opinion the best way to enhance one’s self-esteem.
High self-esteem is like a child’s shield against the challenges of the world. Kids who know their strengths and weaknesses, and feel good about themselves seem to have an easier time handling conflicts and tend to be more resilient.
Emerge coaching is conducting a young girl self-esteem workshop on Saturday May 13th for girls between 11 and 14 years old. This workshop aims to support young girls embrace a positive body image and to cultivate healthier relationships with self and others. Girls will learn effective tools to increase their outer and inner confidence. To inquire email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Youth, Parent and Family Coach