How to build your child's self esteem

Building self esteem and confidence in your child is possibly one of the greatest gifts you could give them. Confident people generally have a more positive outlook on life – they enjoy better relationships with others, deal with problems and handle failure much easier, and tend to persevere rather than to give up.

Here are a few tips from our Clinical Psychologist and mom of three...

  1. Spend one-on-one time with your child.
    If you want to give your child a strong sense of self worth and belief, offer your time and attention. Spend one-one time with your child by reading, playing games, having a conversation or helping with homework. Show your support and encouragement if your child is involved in activities like soccer, dancing, drama or painting.
  2. Foster a sense of trust.
    Allow children to make their own decisions so that they can learn responsibility. By creating a relationship of trust, you’ll be opening the communication channels and in this way, if a problem arises, they’ll be able to speak to you openly.
  3. Offer praise.
    Praise them for their accomplishments, and don’t be too hard on them if they fail. Your approval is usually their benchmark– be aware that your expectations are not unrealistic.
  4. Avoid criticism.
    Children are sensitive, and often when criticized excessively, they withdraw and develop a poor self esteem. Sometimes, it’s also their inner voice criticizing them which them to be too hard on themselves –tell them positive things about themselves (how talented they are, that they are thoughtful, considerate, funny etc)
  5. Don’t be overprotective.
    Allow your child to solve a particular simple problemon his or her own. You will also not be helping much if you are there to rescue them at every turn.
  6. Set rules.
    A child needs to know that there certain boundarieswithin your home and family that have to be adhered to. Rules and boundaries will teach them respect for you and themselves, and prepare them for challenges in their adult life.
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