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Friday, August 1, 2008

Boost your child's Self Esteem

Self-esteem is about how one feels about oneself, and can either be positive or negative.

Self-esteem in young children essentially refers to the degree to which they expect to be accepted and valued by their peers and the significant adults such as their parents and teachers.

Children with positive, healthy self-esteem feel that the people who are important to them accept and care about them. Such children are also able to recognise and accept their own strengths and weaknesses. On the other hand, children with negative self-esteem feel neglected and unappreciated, and are much less confident, if at all.

Why is Self-esteem important?

How we feel about and define ourselves influences our motivations, attitudes, and behaviours. Thus, it is important that we always feel confident and positive about ourselves.

In some cases, low self-esteem can be a symptom of a mental health disorder or emotional disturbance. Experts have also observed and believed that low self-esteem is the underlying cause of many of society's problem today.

A child's self-esteem can affect how he relates to other people. As such, children who feel good about themselves tend to develop positive relationship with others.

As a child grow older and starts to attend school, his self-esteem can have an impact on his academic success too. If he thinks positively of himself ( rather than always thinking he can't do things right) he is more likely to accept setbacks and to preserve, thus do well academically,

Proudly showing off his artwork

Moreover, a child's creativity can also be influenced by his self-esteem. This is because low self-esteemed children are less likely to take the risk involved in being creative than children who have positive self-perceptions.

How can you Boost your child's Self-Esteem?

From young, a child will reach different milestones and experience a sense of accomplishment that bolster self-esteem e.g. learning to roll over or to stand up successfully after repeated failures.

He will at the same time create a self-concept based on interactions with other people. Hence, parental involvement is key to helping him form healthy self-perceptions.

Here are some Tips for Boosting your child's Self-Esteem:

1. Praise Generously, Appropriately and Honestly

Children are very sensitive to parent's words. Constantly look for situations in which your child is doing good jobs, or demonstrate talents or positive character traits, and praise him accordingly. But remember to praise for effort and completion, rather than outcome. Praise honestly too - kids can tell whether something is plain flattery, or sincerely from the heart.

2. Teach Positive Self-Statements
You need to identify your child's incorrect beliefs about himself, then help him set more accurate and realistic standards about himself. For example, if he is struggling with science and you hear him say "I cannot do science, I'm a lousy student", correct him by saying to him "You are a good student and you are doing great in school. Science is just one of the subjects you need to spend more time on."

3. Be Spontaneous and Affectionate
Show your love - Hug your child

There is no such thing as a shy parent! Parents' love is crucial to children's self-esteem. Hug your child often. Tell him you are proud of him. Leave loving messages on the fridge door, in the phone recorder, or in his lunch box.

4. Display your sense of humour!
Laugh at your blunders
Teach your child that life certainly does not always have to be serious; some teasing can be fun too. Show him that you can laugh at yourself for little mistakes and blunders you make.

5. Have Reasonable Expectations

Like you, your child is not perfect! Let him know you accept him for who he is, flaws and all. He will then feel secure and learn to accept his own strength and weaknesses, which in turn enhances his self-esteem.

As is always the rule - and challenge - of good parenting, remember that you need to be your child's role model. Do not be too harsh on yourself or be unrealistic about your abilities and limitations. Be optimistic and nurture your own positive self-esteem instead, so your child can mirror you correctly.

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Blogger The Healthy Mom said...

Great tips Bubbles. I struggled with self esteem issues as a child and I don't want my children to have the same problems I did. I try to encourage and praise my children as much as possible. And of course have fun with them!

Cascia @ Healthy Moms

August 2, 2008 at 10:15 AM  
Blogger Jaanvi said...

Hey Bubbles
very interesting...These tips will surely help me raise my son with a good sense of confidence in him.

August 4, 2008 at 8:05 PM  
Anonymous Erin said...

Global Social Network Parents, and People Interest Parenthood and Parenting.


August 8, 2008 at 10:11 PM  
Blogger The Mommy and Me Boutique said...

This is a good interesting and positive article. Sharing this will help and encourage parents.

August 11, 2008 at 9:05 AM  
Blogger Jaanvi said...

Hi Bubbles
Long time,didn't see you around.. busy?

August 12, 2008 at 2:33 PM  
Anonymous Gaida said...

Helping our children to believe in their abilities is a must to help them have positive self esteem.

Our words can either build them up or break down their feeling of self worth.

It's important that when disciplining our children that it's their behaviour that is unacceptable & not them.

I've posted an eyeopening video about motivation for our children and how personal responsibility has such a huge affect on them.

August 17, 2008 at 5:54 PM  

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