As parents, we all hope that our children will be sensitive and loving, but with a skin tough enough to handle problems. We also want our children to feel great about themselves and who they are. Self-esteem is an important thing to nurture in a child and is a combination of a child feeling loved and being confident in his or her own abilities. Much of this feeling is molded, instilled and inspired by a child’s parents. Child expert Sue Davidson says that nurturing and improving your child’s self-esteem is something that will stick with them for life. The development of their self-esteem is important and is something they will base many different things on throughout their lives.
“When children feel that their parents love and believe in them, the child will love and believe in himself or herself. When a child feels as though a parent doubts his or her capability, that child will also doubt their capability. This is something that is important for parents to recognize and pay attention to,” says Sue. So, with something that is this important, how do you ensure that you’re doing it right? The first thing you should realize is that while it is important, there is no reason to feel as if you’re walking on eggshells. Simply take opportunities given to you and use them to work on self-esteem. Sue offers some valuable tips on how to improve your child’s self-esteem.
Don’t place unrealistic expectations on your child. When you do this, he or she will most likely fail to live up to those expectations. This will make him or her doubt their ability. This can be a real issue with self-esteem. Expect your child to do his or her best, and that’s it. Instill in them the wisdom that winning or losing is not as important as having fun trying and trying your best. Anything over that is just extra. Of course, should your child win, you want to praise them and show how proud you are. If they lose, you want to praise them and show how proud you are! One important thing you can say to your child is, “Now you can be really proud of yourself.” What this tells your child is that you are very proud of them and that how they feel about their performance in any situation is what is most important.
Pointing Out What is Unique
One important thing that helps improve self-esteem is the knowledge that there are special and unique characteristics in each one of us. Teaching your child this important wisdom is as easy as pointing out their own unique abilities and talents. Take the time to do this when there is a great opportunity. When you notice the things your child is great at or is especially talented at, they will notice them, too. When your child understands that he or she has special talents or is particularly great in one aspect or another, their self-esteem grows. So, tell your child what a great job he or she did in different situations.
Much of what you do and how you feel about yourself will be transferred to your children. If you make statements often about how stupid or inadequate you are, your child will absorb that attitude and feeling. They will then recreate those feelings in the way they feel about themselves. This is something you don’t want. When a child sees a parent with a high regard for themselves, these children are more likely to develop a great self-confidence. As James A. Baldwin said, “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” Show your child how you value him or her and how you value yourself. This will most definitely carry over.
Your child’s self-esteem is important, and you are the greatest person to help develop the self-esteem within your child. By simply being confident about your child’s abilities and loving your child (which is a given), you can foster a great self-esteem from childhood to adulthood.