Helping to Build a Child’s Self-Esteem is a Worthwhile Endeavour

Children are not born with self-esteem and in fact most kids, unless taught to be self-confident, will be shy and retiring. It is the task of parents, teachers and coaches to help build a child’s self-esteem which will go a long way towards creating confident and successful adults. There are many ways to build self-esteem in kids:
* Start young
* Be self-confident adults
* Praise kids
* Offer constructive criticism
* Correct behavior and not the individual

‘Start them young’ they say and this is true of building self-esteem in children too. An infant is attuned first to the moods of his mother, father and then others in the house. When a baby smiles, smile back and coo at him and this with give him a positive feedback and he will smile more often. If we ignore his smiles, then he will probably not smile so much and be a more retiring child. Greet little milestones – turning on his back or crawling – with claps and call everyone in the house to share the joy. Baby will at once feel he has done something to please his parents and will be confident to try new things.

To teach self-esteem in kids, adults need to be self-confident themselves. If adults suffer from low self-esteem or are always negative, criticize everything and act like the whole world is conspiring against them, then these negative vibes will rub off on even small children. Such children will have low self-esteem and this will affect the way they perform in school. They will not have the confidence to step up to be leaders, fulfill their potential or make use of their talents. For example, a child may have a lovely voice, but if he or she is not confident, then they will never come forward to join the school choir.

A healthy dose of praise is always good to build self-esteem in kids. However, remember to base your praise on reality and not generality for then, kids could become anxious and stressed out. For example, don’t keep on saying ‘you are so tidy’ with the desire of making your child become more neat. Instead, if they really do a good job of tidying their room, then specifically mention how you liked the way they arranged their toys or books. Stating the specific reason for praising them is better for they will relate more to this and strive to do repeat their act.

Parents must however remember not to overdo the praise for an overdose can lead to over confidence that they are perfect in everything they do. Then in the real world when they are criticized by classmates, teachers or their boss, they will get disappointed and even angry. Instead, developing healthy self-esteem will help a child have a solid opinion about their strengths and weaknesses. This will help them build their strengths while trying to minimize their weaknesses.

No one is perfect and the sooner parents realize this, the better. For this, they must offer constructive criticism where needed. In the same way with praising a child, remember to criticize a child based on specifics. Do not say ‘You are always untidy’ or ‘You can never do math’. This will dent a child’s budding self-confidence and they will start having a poor opinion about themselves. Always remember when correcting a child to correct the behavior and not the person.

It will also help if the child is not criticized in front of others. Take her aside, gently point out her mistake and correct the behavior. Always reassure the child that you still love her and want what is best for her. Also remember never to compare two siblings or two friends. This is the worst way to lower their self-esteem. Taking part in some form of athletics is a great way to build self-esteem. It will help a child learn to work in teams and to deal with victories and losses.

Even if a child is not so good at athletics, just the participation can be fun. It will make them feel self-confident in their abilities and this will translate to other aspects of their lives too. Coaches can teach kids to complete a task properly, provide repetitive practice to improve skills, encourage and praise their improved performance and correct them when wrong. By helping to build self-esteem in children, you are investing your time wisely, for it will surely pay great dividends in the future.

Article by Kenny Leichester of, a website with the best patio furniture information on the web.

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