Self esteem is how a person sees and values herself, and it is a lifelong process that begins in childhood. Building your child’s confidence prepares him or her for life, and is essential for healthy development. Here are six positive steps you can take, as a parent, to nurture your child’s self image.
Love and affirm your child daily
Express your love and appreciation for your child every day. Show your love through your actions, but also take time to say, “I love you.” Be sure to notice your child’s strengths, and then compliment, praise and encourage her. As you show your love and appreciation, it gives your child a sense of belonging in the family .
Recognize your child’s uniqueness
Each child is different, with individual strengths and limitations . Let your child know that he is special to you, and don’t compare him with other children. Be sure to celebrate your child’s good qualities , even as you correct unacceptable behaviors in a loving manner. Create a supportive environment for her, that facilitates her understanding of her worth and value as an individual.
Empower your child for adulthood
Get your children involved in age-appropriate tasks in the household. From an early age, this gives them a sense of satisfaction that comes with starting and completing tasks. Try not to do things for them that they can do for themselves, as this could stifle their developing initiative .
Teach your child how to contribute in the home, and how to work with others. As you and your child work together in the home environment, he not only learns new skills, and but his sense of being the part of the family increases, which builds his self esteem . This helps her to develop skills , such as confidence, responsibility, and cooperation, which are important qualities for productive adulthood.
Promote effective communication
Effective communication is vital to building strong relationships, and your child learns to communicate within the family setting. Be sure to model active listening in your family, both in your verbal and nonverbal behaviors . Give your child undivided attention when she is speaking, as this shows your interest in her and in what she has to say. Also, give your child opportunities to express his own thoughts, feelings and opinions. These opportunities help him learn to identify and express his needs verbally.
Set appropriate boundaries
Within a supportive family setting, teach proper values, beliefs, and important skills. Your child needs to grow up in an atmosphere in which the rules are clear and consistent and proper discipline is lovingly administered. It is important that you don’t focus on the child, but on the unacceptable behavior. Help your child to learn that there are consequences to her actions.
Spend family time together
Spend time together regularly as a family. Let your children know that you enjoy being with them. Plan interesting and enjoyable indoor and outdoor activities to share as a family. Also, set aside regular family time to discuss family concerns. In these family meetings , encourage your child to express her thoughts in a respectful way, and try to find solutions, especially as she moves into her teen years.