Ever heard of or seen a person with low self-esteem? A person with low self-esteem is one who shows inferior tendencies. He/she is simply not able to express him/herself and often prefers to remain alone even during social events.
Although there are many factors that can make a person develop low self-esteem, majority cases of low self-esteem start from childhood. This is why it is very important that you help your child build his/her self-esteem.
What is self-esteem?
Self-esteem is often defined as a person’s view or assessment of him/herself. It literally means a person’s evaluation or judgment of his/her own worth. A lot of things go into making self-esteem: personal thoughts, feelings, and opinion about self. It happens that self-esteem is not permanent, it changes as one grows up: it can get low or high depending on one’s judgment of self and other factors. It has been observed that children who develop self-esteem from an early age tend to maintain high self-esteem during adulthood regardless of what they go through.
How to build your child’s self-esteem?
There are several ways you can employ to help your child build and develop his/her self-esteem depending on his/her age.
Young babies generally do not have self-esteem. This is because they are incapable of evaluating themselves. However, this is the right stage you need to start laying a proper foundation for the development of self-esteem. Loving your young baby, caring for him/her and showing love is the best way of laying the foundation.
Unlike babies, toddlers generally begin to identify themselves. They can easily tell what makes them happy and what do not make them happy. Your toddler is most likely to decide what he/she wants, meaning that he/she has thought about what he/she wants before making a decision. Although his/her decision may be wrong, the best you can do is to tell him/her why. Rebuking him/her only serves to make him/her develop a fear of making independent decisions. Allow your baby to say either yes or no with reason before you come in to give guidance.
Although not yet mature, preschoolers are able to understand and express their feelings. They are also able to think and make decisions even though some decisions cannot be correct. The best you can do to your preschooler is to encourage him/her even when his/her decision may not be right. Small corrections about his/her decisions go a long way in making him/her realize that he/she is on the right path and is bound to feel confident in making own decisions.
Your school-age child is mature enough when it comes to thinking and decision-making. However, the fact that he/she gets into the mix with other children at school presents the serious challenge of having his/her self-esteem dented, which can seriously affect his/her academic performance.
The best you can do to help your child develop or maintain self-esteem is to maintain regular communication. In addition to showing love and care, give your child a listening ear. Let him/her tell you about his/her day in school in addition to helping with homework. Coach him/her on matters relating to social issues and how to best to relate with others. It is also beneficial to work closely with his/her class teacher who is in the best position to notice whenever your child has issues with other children, issues that can affect his/her self-esteem.
Helping your child develop self-esteem is one thing and maintaining the same is a different thing. This is where your own self-esteem becomes important. Children copy their parents and your child is bound to pick how you behave and interact with others. It is, therefore, that you too maintain a positive self-esteem that can benefit your child.