We encounter distinct groups of children. Some effortlessly light up the room with their charisma, starting conversations like skilled conversationalists, forming friendships easily, and confidently venturing into uncharted territories of new experiences.
These children are high on self-esteem, like stars shining brightly in the night sky.
We also meet children who timidly step back at social gatherings, avoiding answering questions in the classroom despite holding the knowledge within and struggling with social skills like a fledgling trying to find its wings.
Their self-esteem appears as a flickering flame, struggling to find its strength in the face of challenges.
A study conducted by NIH establishes a direct connection between low self-esteem and the burdens of educational stress and the shadows of physical and emotional abuse, whether by parents or other adults in the household. Furthermore, it reveals that lower self-esteem can lead to a heavier burden of anxiety, a cloud of depression, and even the haunting specter of suicidal ideation.
Hence, it becomes important for parents to cultivate and nurture their child’s self-esteem actively. In this blog, we will explore the ways to elevate children’s self-esteem:
1. Treat them with respect:
As parents, we may unknowingly embarrass our children in front of their friends, family, and others by scolding them or not giving them enough attention. This can have a negative impact on them. Surprisingly, by the age of 5, children already have a sense of self-esteem similar to that of adults, according to researchers at the University of Washington.
So, the first step is to always treat your child with respect, just like you would treat any adult around you.
2. Shower them with unconditional love and acceptance:
Your love for your child shouldn’t hinge on their performance. Children need to feel loved and accepted for who they are, regardless of their successes or failures. Focus on their uniqueness and individuality rather than comparing them to others or setting unrealistic expectations.
Make sure their efforts and progress never go unnoticed.
3. Nurture their interests and passions:
Each child is unique with their own set of skills, talents, and interests. Some might excel in sports, others in art, and some may have a natural gift for writing. It’s essential as parents to support and encourage their interests and passions. By providing opportunities for them to explore and develop their skills, we can boost their confidence in their abilities. This would contribute to building their self-esteem.
4. Set Realistic Goals:
This is for Tiger Parents who often impose unrealistic goals on their children without considering their strengths, weaknesses, skills, and talents. When the children fail to meet these expectations, it directly impacts their self-esteem. Instead, set achievable and realistic goals for your child. Break down bigger objectives into smaller, manageable tasks, and celebrate milestones along the way. This process instills a sense of accomplishment and boosts self-esteem.
5. Promote Independence:
This advice is for Helicopter Parents who tend to be overly protective and involved, not giving their children enough space to independently handle tasks. While it’s natural to want to protect your child, it’s essential to remember that excessive involvement can be harmful to them. Children need to know that they have you to support them, but they should also be allowed age-appropriate independence to make decisions and take responsibility for certain tasks. Balancing support with independence helps them develop crucial life skills and boost their self-esteem.
6. Teach Problem-Solving Skills:
Certain children shine as stars in their class or among their friends because of their adept problem-solving skills and ability to handle challenges. It’s crucial to encourage them to tackle these situations independently while still providing support and guidance when necessary. By doing so, we help them cultivate resilience and a strong belief in their own capabilities to overcome difficult circumstances. This confidence empowers them to navigate life’s challenges with determination and success.
7. Practice Active Listening:
According to research by Accenture, more than 70% of professionals suffer from poor listening habits and skills, leading to various negative consequences like misunderstandings, mistakes, missed opportunities, arguments, project delays, and strained relationships.
On average, a person who hasn’t developed good listening skills might only understand and retain about 50% of any conversation, and within 48 hours, retention drops to less than 25%.
To support your child effectively, be a good listener when they share their thoughts and feelings. Dedicate time for meaningful conversations and validate their emotions. This will not only reinforces their self-worth but also make them good listeners. Of course, it will foster a stronger bond between you and your child.
8. Create a Safe and Supportive Environment:
Research indicates that family characteristics, such as instances of physical and emotional abuse by parents or other adults in the household, can be linked to low levels of self-esteem in children. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that the home environment is healthy and secure, creating a safe space where the child feels protected and supported within the four walls of their home. A nurturing and caring environment at home plays a vital role in shaping a child’s self-esteem and overall well-being.
9. Positive Feedback:
Avoid harsh criticism and instead focus on constructive feedback. Be mindful of your own language and actions, as children often mimic their parent’s behavior.
Recommended Reading: Parenting Tips: Don’t Say These 10 Things To Your Child
10. Encourage Social Connections:
Help your child build positive relationships with peers and family members. Social interactions provide opportunities for children to learn empathy, communication, and cooperation, which are essential for healthy self-esteem.
These tips serve as a base to safeguard your child’s self-esteem. You can create your own plan or approach to support your child and prevent low self-esteem. High self-esteem is a valuable gift that will positively impact their entire life, leading to a more rewarding and promising future.
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