None of us were born with low self-worth or low self-esteem. It developed through the years by what we were told and how we were made to feel by the people in our lives. Whether you have children or not, you can make a difference in a child’s view of themselves and stop the cycle of low self-esteem problems.
The obvious first step toward fostering a good self-image and self esteem in children is to provide them with unconditional love and caring. Don’t criticize or berate them. Always focus on the positives and provide encouragement in everything they do.
More specifically, however, there are many, many other things you can do. First, you should model good self esteem. Express through your actions and words that you respect yourself. Children are wonderful at imitating what they see and hear. Be a good role model.
Create positive routines. Young children need routines to help them to feel secure and competent. Try to set a good schedule for bedtime, rest/naps, meals, etc. Try to keep exceptions to the routine to a minimum and explain any necessary changes if/when they occur.
Allow many opportunities for children to contribute to the family. Give the child a job/chore that only he/she does for the family. Even a small job can have a positive lasting impact on a child’s self esteem.
Talk about the world in positive terms. Even though there is negativity in the world, don’t dwell on it with a child. Be sure to point out the many positive things in the world to children, even if you don’t believe it yourself its important in building their self esteem.
Give them the gift of your time. Remember quality is more important than quantity. Even if you spend just 30 minutes with a child one on one — playing games, taking walks, having long bedtime chats, or just snuggling in front of the TV, spending time with a child shows them that you value their company. Think Self Esteem.
Give them choices. By giving a child choices between a reasonable set of options that are already predetermined, you will make them feel empowered. But be cautious here. Too much control sends the message that your children can’t adequately handle their lives. Too little control sends the message you don’t care, so you must strike a balance between these two extremes and give them more freedom as they grow older.
Acknowledge and listen to their thoughts and emotions since they are so much a part of who they are. Listening to you offspring with empathy says you care about what they think and feel. Plus it will create an atmosphere in which they will be more willing to listen to you.
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