Tips for Building Your Child’s Self-Esteem
If you are a parent, one of the best gifts you can give your child is a healthy sense of self-esteem. With high self-esteem, kids are more likely to succeed in school, develop strong relationships, and maintain good mental health throughout their lives. Here are a few tips to help you foster a healthy sense of self-esteem in your child.
Love Them Unconditionally
Most kids go through phases where they feel insecure or doubt themselves. This is perfectly normal and part of growing up. One of the best things you can do for your child is to accept them for who they are and let them know that you will always be there for them, no matter what. Also, avoid placing conditions on your love, such as: “I’ll love you if you get straight A’s.” When kids feel loved and supported, they are more likely to have high self-esteem.
Avoid Insulting Your Child
As a parent, it is important to be mindful of the words you use when talking to your child. Insults can be very damaging to a child’s self-esteem, so avoid using words that might make them feel bad about themselves, such as “stupid” or “lazy.” Instead, try to focus on positive reinforcement. Compliment your child when they do something well and avoid criticizing them for their mistakes.
Don’t Compare Your Child to Others
Your child is one-of-a-kind and it’s important that you make them feel that way. Avoid comparing your child to other children, as this can make them feel inferior. Instead, focus on their unique qualities and strengths. Help your child to build up their self-esteem by encouraging them to participate in activities that they enjoy, and by showing them that you are proud of their accomplishments.
Ask for Your Child’s Opinion
Asking for your child’s opinion shows that you value their thoughts and feelings, which can help to boost their self-esteem. In addition, it gives them a chance to share their views on a variety of topics. For example, you might ask them what they think about a new toy or TV show. You can also ask for their input on household decisions, such as where to hang a picture or what to have for dinner. By involving your child in these kinds of conversations, you’ll help them feel like an important member of the family.
Set Aside Playtime with Them
One of the best ways to improve self-esteem in kids is to have regular playtime with them. This means setting aside time each day to just play, without any expectations or objectives. This can be anything from playing catch to building a fort out of blankets. The important thing is that it’s a time for the two of you to connect and have fun together. Doing this on a regular basis will help your child feel loved and valued, both of which are essential for healthy self-esteem.
Assign Them Responsibilities and Chores
Helping out around the house can give kids a sense of accomplishment and pride. This could include tasks like setting the table, doing the laundry, or taking out the trash. By teaching kids that they are capable of taking care of themselves and their belongings, you can help them to feel more confident and independent. But make sure you don’t overburden them with too many chores—strike a balance between giving them responsibility and allowing them to enjoy their childhood.
Guide Them on How to Overcome Failure
Failure is a part of life, but it’s not always easy to cope with. For children, especially, failure can be a hard pill to swallow. Teach your child how to dust themselves off after falling down and how to keep moving forward despite setbacks. Sometimes, children need help understanding why they failed in order to move on from the experience. If your child is able to identify what went wrong, they can be more successful next time.
Contact the Child Therapists in Burlington at Family Matters Centre
If your child is struggling with their self-esteem, Family Matters Centre can help. We offer a variety of programs and services designed to help children build self-confidence and feel good about themselves. From group therapy sessions to one-on-one child therapy in Burlington, we can help your child learn how to handle compliments and criticism, set goals, and manage stress.
If you’re looking for a child therapist in the Burlington, Hamilton, or Oakville area, call us today at (905) 466-8023 or fill out our contact form to request an appointment.
by Shari Markovich
Shari is a Child Therapist who has worked with children and adolescents for more than 20 years. She uses a variety of counselling modalities, including Theraplay®, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and Family Systems. She is motivated to work with children and parents so families can function in healthy and supportive ways.