Hello parents and readers,
Recently a parent requested that I write a post which addresses the importance of building self esteem in our children and requested tips on how to encourage good self esteem in our children. In today’s society, our children’s’ self esteem is under daily attack. With the media’s portrayal of unattainable beauty and body size, we have to arm our children with the tools necessary to stand strong so that they can learn to love themselves and to appreciate their individual uniqueness. I have provided my readers with 5 steps to strengthen our child’s self esteem. For more information go to www.bluemooncounseling.com.
5 Steps for Parents To Build Self Esteem in Their Children
Step #1 Be Generous with Praise.
All children need love and appreciation and thrive on positive attention.
Parents can do this by using “words” of encouragement. Use the following statements daily with your children…
- “That’s right”
- “That is wonderful”
- “Good Job”
- “I like the way you…”
- “You are improving at…”
- Most Importantly – “I am proud of you”
Words and actions have great impact on the confidence of our children, including adolescents, remember these positive statements parents and caregivers say to them to your children DAILY.
Step #2 Give Positive Touch
All Children and adolescents thrive on positive physical responses such as…
- Parents can smile often
- Give a nod of approval
- Wink at your child
- Give a hug to show attention
- Give kisses and tell them you love them
Step# 3 Avoid Criticism
Blame and negative judgments are at the core of poor self-esteem and can lead to emotional disorders. Avoid statements such as…
ANY Statements related to weight or body image. “You need to lose weight”, “You need to burn calories” “You don’t want to be fat do you” “You are looking too thin” “Lets go work out so you can lose a few pounds” or talking to friends or neighbors about “my child needs to lose weight”.
This is a very important and prevalent issue. It is often between mothers and daughters and sometimes critical fathers towards their daughters weight. These statements can be VERY damaging. As parents, it is our job to foster good self esteem no matter what our child’s body type.
Use positive statements and if needed modify food intake and increase exercise in a way that is focused on positive results. “Lets go work out so we can “stay” healthy and strong” “Lets eat some more veggies so you can grow big and strong like Mommy and Daddy” “You are already beautiful but if you want to choose an active activity to become more healthy, I will help you.”
It is all in the way we say it to our children. Be positive. Never criticize body weight. Work on our own self esteems and practice saying these positive comments to our selves.
- “I love my body”
- “I am healthy and strong”
- “I love my womanly curves”
- “If I can’t love myself the way I am, who will”.
Step #4 Teach children about decision making.
Teach children about making “choices” and to recognize when they have made good decisions. Let them “own” their problems. If they solve them, they gain confidence in themselves. If you solve them, they’ll remain dependent on you.
Encourage your children to make their own “choices”, but remind them that there is a “consequence” to each choice. Hopefully, these natural consequences will guide them to make more smart choices in their future.
Step #5 Show children that you can laugh at yourself.
Show them that life doesn’t need to be serious all the time and that some teasing is all in fun. Your sense of humor is important for their well-being.
Parents can play important roles in helping their children feel better about themselves and developing greater confidence. Doing this is important because children with good self-esteem:
- Act independently
- Assume responsibility
- Take pride in their accomplishments
- Tolerate frustration
- Handle peer pressure appropriately
- Attempt new tasks and challenges
- Handle positive and negative emotions
- Offer assistance to others
Remember, you are already taking the first step to improving your child’s self esteem by educating your self.
Remember these 5 simple steps.
- Increase Praise
- Give Positive Touch
- Avoid Criticism
- Teach Decision Making Skills
- Be able to Laugh at your self.
You have the opportunity to make a dramatic difference in your child’s self concept. Let us teach and encourage our children in a positive way each day.
Best of Luck, Michelle