When considering the keys to building self-esteem in children, it’s useful to understand the ranges of self-esteem. Your self-esteem is your overall opinion of yourself. It can range from overly positive to overly negative. A healthy self-esteem, according to MayoClinic.com, runs between the extremes and means you have an accurate, balanced view of yourself, recognizing your talents but understanding your flaws.
Recognition and Praise
Honest praise and recognition are two ways that positive self-esteem can be fostered in children. This praise needs to be honest and heart-felt, not an automatic compliment about a job well done for everything the child does. Recognize the accomplishments of a child and give thoughtful, specific praise.
Respect is another key to developing a child’s positive self-esteem. Showing respect to a child can be accomplished in different ways. For example, by allowing a child to make significant decisions and then allowing the consequences of those decisions to play out will reinforce the child’s belief that have respect for the child. Another way to show respect is to explain rules to the child in a rational way. In other words, saying a rule exists simply because you say so does not give the child respect that the child would understand.
Improving a child’s competence with a skill is another key to developing a child’s sense of self-worth. This competence helps a child believe in self-mastery of the skill and a sense of control. The child should be given opportunities to succeed at tasks and be allowed to be as independent as possible. Givey your childr opportunities to interact with other children, and discuss with him strategies for how to get along socially with them.
Unconditional love can help self-esteem flourish in children. This is a kind of love that has no strings attached. This is not to say that this kind of love allows the child to run rampant and do anything, but it does mean that you accept your child for who the child is, not what you want the child to become.