You may give your child the best of education and the most expensive toys. But the best gift you can give to your child is helping them develop their self-esteem.
According to Dr Joyce Brothers, “A strong, positive self-image is the best possible preparation for success in life.”
What is Self-Esteem?
A sense of self-esteem relates to the concepts of self-worth and self-image. It is about how a child sees, figures and values herself in his or her world. A child may be too young to realize its importance. But as parents, it is essential to recognize the value of fostering self-esteem in children, beginning at the crucial stage of early childhood.
Nurturing self-esteem in children is a great way to make your children recognize their strengths and accept and embrace their unique identities. It equips them to develop coping mechanisms for mistakes or failures. This does bring about a sense of confidence. But, there is a thin line between confidence and pride. And that’s why building self-esteem in children is so vital.
Kids with high self-esteem generally feel loved and accepted, feel proud of their capabilities and have positive thoughts about themselves. Here are eight simple tips for cultivating healthy self-esteem in your children:
1. Praise, Don’t overpraise.
While it is good to praise your children, make sure it is genuine and well-deserved. When overdone, its effect only diminishes in value. Kids are impressionable, and they will believe you when you tell them that they are the best at something. Praise when they have earned it, and continue to encourage them to improve and build competence. Parenting experts recommend that it’s better for parents to praise toddlers for the process or effort, rather than the outcome.
2. Don’t decide for them all the time.
At times, parents need to step back and let go. Enable the kids to make independent choices and make age-appropriate decisions on their own. This will allow them to evaluate their options better over time as they grow up while considering the consequences of their actions. It will also help them take responsibility as they mature. It is an empowering move that can significantly boost your kids’ self-esteem and help them become more independent and confident.
3. Let them perform age-appropriate house chores.
Parents need to give their kids a chance to demonstrate their strengths and competence. Children seek acceptance and recognition through their actions. So by letting them help around the house, you will improve their self-esteem as they will feel that their contribution is valuable.
4. It is ok to Make Mistakes
A child needs to feel secure to be able to accept failure and mistakes as a part of life. Let them know you love them no matter what. This way, they can learn from their mistakes and move on.
Parents who pressurize their children to be successful at whatever they do, reinforce an unhealthy thinking pattern in their children. If your children start expecting you to criticize them every time they fail, it can lead to deep-rooted emotional problems and insecurities.
5. Motivate them to pursue extra-curricular activities.
Please encourage your children to perform activities that genuinely interest them. It will help build their confidence when they pursue an activity of their own choice. It will also help them perform goal-oriented tasks and learn how to follow through. It is much easier to try out and access multiple activities that interest your child while living in a child-centric residential area.
These uniquely planned kid-centric homes provide proper amenities to facilitate learning and development in children. They also offer a platform for kids to showcase their talents in front of an audience. Living at a kid-centric home is a great way to boost your kid’s self-confidence while providing them with a safe, social and nurturing home environment.
6. Don’t rush to Help.
Children need to realize that there are consequences to their actions. Not only that, it’s essential for them to understand that if the results do not favour them, they can rectify them. For example, if your kid tries to reach for a jar full of lemonade and but spills some of it on the ground- don’t rush to help out. Let them apply their problem-solving skills and wait for them to wipe it off the ground using a napkin. Give your child a chance to identify and correct his or her own mistakes. This will help build their self-confidence.
7. Don’t compare your kids to others.
Each child is born different. Comparing your kids with others will do more harm than good. Parents may think it as a common tactic to make their kids more competent, but it can affect your child’s mindset. It is likely to shift your child’s focus from moving towards excellence to moving towards winning your acceptance. This may lead your child to take unwanted risks along the way, because of unwanted feelings of self-doubt.
8. Spend quality time with your child.
Make your children feel your love. Grab a bite or go swimming with your kids. It enables bonding over mutually enjoyable activities. Spending alone time with your children can go a long way in reinforcing a parent-child bond that forms the basis of all nurturing. Also, while talking, maintain eye contact, instead of multi-tasking. Express warmth and affection several times a day. This will go a long way in them, growing into happier and healthy adults.
Helping your child to develop positive self-esteem is not an arduous undertaking. Nor is it a project for you to finish. It’s a consistent approach towards providing your kids with the nurturing they deserve. It’s a way of life with your kids, and it can do wonders for them. So stay motivated to encourage the same in your child.
Parents, especially ones who may not have time to devote to their kids, can consider moving into kid-friendly homes. These homes offer an in-house program of extra-curricular activities and learning experiences to further the self-confidence of your child. Kid centric homes can equip your children with the right tools to cultivate feelings of self-worth and acceptance. They can provide a safe space for nurturing values in a competitive environment.
Ashiana Housing build homes. Homes surrounded by vast green spaces and fresh breeze. Homes cocooned in secured gated complexes. Homes where futures are forged and there are opportunities to grow. And Homes in environments brimming with healthy activity, trust and respect. At heart, we build communities with care.