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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Building Positive Self Esteem in Children – Top 7 Tips (Guest post by Robin Cowley)

11 and carefree.

It is common to spot self esteem issues in people. Low self esteem can make the person under-confident, irresponsible, indulge in self-pity, have lower self-worth, depression, or even indulge in drugs or alcohol in worse cases.

It is thereby important that children have a realistic image about their capabilities. A positive self-esteem serves as their armor against the challenges that they face in their everyday lives. It makes them more confident and proud of themselves. Such children have a better sense of self-respect and are more loving and secure than those with demented self-esteem.

Sure you would not like your child to have a low self-respect, so given below are a few tips that will best guide you how you can ensure that your child do not struggle with any self-esteem issues:

1. Be positive – Your general outlook on life affects your child a lot more than you think. This means that your positive outlook will rub off on your child and will help him to develop a positive attitude.
2. Praise Your Child’s Efforts – Children crave praise from their role models. When your child has made an effort at something, praise him honestly, even if the effort was unsuccessful. You will not only teach them the value of an honest effort but will also build his self-esteem. Make sure you are not fake though. Praise him for the right things and tell him that there is always a next time.
3. Ignore The Negative Aspects – No child is perfect. For that matter, you are not perfect yourself. So, why do you focus on the negative aspects of your child? Instead, focus on your child’s positive qualities.
4. Promise Family Support – Placing a family picture on your child’s bedside is a subtle reminder that he has his family’s support. Your child will feel loved and will work without stress.
5. Keep Communicating – This is an important aspect of a child’s development. Encourage your child to talk about his troubles, fears and happy moments. Many times, children are troubled and you have to find the reason behind their troubles. You can do this only by communicating. Make time for talking to the child and spend time with them. Help them look at a negative situation with a different point of view. Most importantly, don’t judge the child. You may even be playful around them sometimes to bond with them better. Buy superhero costumes for them and create some magical effects, if possible. Make them spend some fun time with you and they will open up more easily.
6. Don’t Criticize Your Child - Remember that your child is an individual and you have to respect the way he reacts. Understand his feelings and don’t criticize him. Criticizing will only increase negative behaviour. Rather praise him and help him view things positively.
7. Set Goals – Teach your child to have a goal. When he begins with projects, tell him to focus on that goal and complete the project. This will encourage the child to have a positive outlook. Being able to finish a project and reaching the goal will build his self-esteem.

Let you child learn through his experiences. It is not always possible for him to emerge winner. So, when he doesn’t, just be there for him and support him. Your support will build his self-esteem and make him a happier child.

Robin Cowley is a parenting expert and a freelance writer. She is also the owner of 365Gorgeous, a popular beauty products website.

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  1. I would like to see a discussion of self-esteem vs. self efficacy. A therapist told me once that gang members score pretty high on self-esteem tests.

    Also: It is interesting you have a post encouraging praise right next to an add for a book by Alfie Kohn, who shows through copious research reviews that praise undermines kids in several ways (see for example "Punished By Rewards").

    Is this blogger evidence based?

  2. Thank you for your tips, I will take note of it because my daughter seems to be less participative in school activities saying that she is scared to fail. It is clear to me that she has a self-esteem or self-confidence issue. I even tried sending her in a camp so that she will be with other teens her age and she will gain responsibility.