No parent wants to see her child suffer from low self-esteem, but unfortunately we can’t always get what we want.
Too many children today are lacking in the confidence department, and as parents, it’s our job to fill that void. So whether you have a son or daughter, toddler or teen, here are some helpful ways to raise your child’s confidence (and keep it high).
1. Acknowledge Their Feelings
If your child comes to you with a self-esteem issue, it is important to hear why he is feeling down in the dumps. This will help you identify the underlying problem and offer an effective solution.
2. Identify Inaccurate Beliefs
We tend to be our own worst critics, and that’s especially true of children. But when they can’t meet the impossible (and sometimes irrational) standards they set, it takes a toll on their confidence. By offering an objective and more optimistic view on the situation, you can quickly turn their thoughts around. For example, if your child constantly says he is bad at math and a horrible student, try telling him that he is a good student who simply needs to spend a little more time on one particular subject.
3. Avoid Comparisons
Nothing makes a child feel worse than hearing she isn't as good as a sibling. By eliminating comparisons, you manage to maximize her self-esteem and minimize sibling rivalry.
4. Build a Positive Home
They say charity begins at home, but so does confidence. By making a few changes, you can create a safe space that boosts your child’s self-esteem and (hopefully) teaches her to help others who may be down on themselves.
5. Praise Them Around Other Adults
When we compliment our kids, it often goes in one ear and out the other. Yet when we tell a relative or family friend about our child’s achievements, our kids are more receptive to the praise. By humbly bragging about your child, you prove that you aren’t saying these things to boost her self-esteem, but because you actually believe them.
6. Offer Unconditional Love
It’s easier for children to overcome hardships if there is a constant support system at home. Remind your little ones that you will be there for the good and bad times and will love them even when they make mistakes.
7. Ask Them For Help
When children are given more responsibilities — even something small, like taking out the trash — it shows that the adult is confident in their capabilities. This, in turn, makes them more confident in themselves. So don’t hesitate to add a few more tasks to their to-do list (especially if it lightens your own load).
8. Celebrate Their Success
Whether it’s learning to ride a bike or acing an important test, commend your child for a job well done. When he sees how proud you are of him, he will start to take pride in himself.
9. Give Them a Great Role Model
As the saying goes, you need to practice what you preach. If you call yourself stupid or shy away from challenges, then your child is likely to follow suit. Look at this as an opportunity not only to build your child’s confidence but to boost your own, as well.