It is important that parents know the right way of improving self esteem in their children. Many parents, unfortunately, do not know this and so their relationship with their children suffers as a result. Their children grow into adults who have low self esteem which later affects their interpersonal relationships with other people – all because their parents did not foster their self esteem when they were children.
Parents should bear in mind that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, meaning they should prevent low self esteem from developing in their children so that when they become adults they will not have to pay for costly psychoanalysis just to solve their self esteem problem.
How does a parent raise a child with high self esteem?
1. Do use words of encouragement when dealing with your child. Please remember that they are only children and will most likely make mistakes because they lack experience. So even when your child fails to do something, try to find something about the situation to praise your child about. You could say: it is not good that you took the grocery money to buy sweets with, but I am glad that you are telling me now that you did it. It shows that you are trying to be honest.
2. Teach your child to speak positive self-statements. Try to correct your child when he says things like: I am so stupid! I will never get this right! Tell your child to say instead: okay, I made a mistake today but I can go back and make it right. It is okay.
3. Try not to ridicule or embarrass your child, particularly in front of siblings or his friends. Children are very sensitive to being humiliated and we all know how merciless other children can be towards their peers, without thinking that they are hurting the feelings of that child. If you must criticize, choose your words carefully. You will be surprised how deeply your child will be wounded if you ridicule or embarrass him.
4. It is important to give your child the ability to make the right decisions. How? Well, try to give your child little opportunities every day to take responsibility for certain things. For example, you could bring your child to the supermarket or grocery store and allow him to choose some things that are needed for your house that week. One woman even gave her 11-year-old son the responsibility of choosing the house that they were going to relocate to in another place. The boy was responsible for various aspects of that task – from calling the owner of the house to make inquiries about the price and terms of their lease, to inspecting the house itself. Then the 11-year-old forwarded the information to his mom who was to make the final decision. Granted, not all children can take on that kind of responsibility but there are definitely other things they can do.
5. Have a sense of humor. It is good for children to see that not everything in life needs to be taken so seriously. A child who learns to laugh at himself when he makes a mistake knows that he will be able to bounce back from that setback. He will tell himself: okay, that was a very funny thing I just did. Now, let us see if I can do better this time around. Parents who tend to take everything very seriously are usually the first to feel down when things do not go always as planned.
Parents have an important role to play when building up the self esteem of their child. Work on improving self esteem in your child and he will grow up a healthier adult.