Children develop a sense of self at an early age and then build their self-esteem as they get older. Remember when you were young?
You just knew you could do something even though you had never tried it before. You were unafraid to have a go and find out whether you could or couldn’t do it.
At some point, we lose this ability and our self-esteem suffers because of it. Self-esteem is an essential part of our life, which is why if it’s low we feel down that is why it is necessary to know how to develop self-esteem in children to build their confidence.
Self-esteem affects our daily life in a huge range of situations; relationships, social interactions, and our performance at work or school.
Achieving high self-esteem early in a child’s life helps them become confident and successful throughout their school years, which is important for building a life free of low self-esteem.
Your child’s self-esteem will be the foundation for their confidence and how they feel about themselves. As a parent, you are the most influential figure in your child’s life.
Your children are an extension of yourself, so you want to do everything possible to help them grow into successful, self-confident adults.
But contrary to popular belief, parenting can be easy and fun – as long as you take some basic steps early on.
Why is Self-esteem Important in Child Development?
Over the years, self-esteem has become a topic of national importance. The correlation between low self-esteem, depression, and negative health has been studied in depth.
Self-esteem has become a subject that needs to be addressed at an early age.
So if you’re raising a child with low self-esteem, there are steps that need to be taken on how to develop their self-esteem.
We will highlight those to help you identify whether your child suffers from low self-esteem and what to do about it.
We spend a lot of time talking about the cognitive and emotional skills that kids need to succeed. That’s important.
But we don’t spend enough time talking about something just as important: self-esteem. You see, your child’s self-esteem is the foundation for all other skills. Now, why is self-esteem important in child development?
A child’s self-esteem is developed when he or she feels accepted by their loved ones which in turn helps them feel good about themselves.
Self-esteem gives individuals a positive outlook on life and makes them feel confident enough to tackle any obstacle that comes their way.
With increasing emphasis placed on the need for better self-esteem in children and adolescents, parents need to equip themselves with knowledge about building their child’s self-esteem.
1. Confidence and Independence
The most basic foundations of self-esteem are confidence and independence, both of which can be developed in children through simple, everyday activities.
Children should be encouraged to make decisions and solve problems on their own whenever possible.
For example, if your child wants to play with a toy that you think is too advanced for him or her at this point, let them try it anyway (within reason).
Your child will develop confidence by discovering that he or she can do things that they previously thought were impossible.
2. Resilience and Motivation
Resilience is the ability to bounce back from failure and disappointment without being crushed by them. It’s an important part of building self-esteem because it helps children persevere when challenges arise.
When you praise your child for trying hard even when he doesn’t succeed, you’re developing his resilience.
Every time he tries something new, even if it doesn’t work out as he learns to keep going when things get tough instead of giving up too soon.
3. Mental Health
Self-esteem is strongly linked to mental health and well-being. If you have low self-esteem, it can cause serious problems for you both now and in the future.
Mental health is an important part of self-esteem. If you want your child to feel good about themselves, they need to be healthy inside and out.
If they’re not, it will show in their attitude and behavior toward others.
If your child is doing well at school, this can boost their self-esteem and make them feel good about themselves.
It’s important to encourage them when they achieve something, even if it’s just a small thing like learning their times’ tables or getting an award at school.
5. Strong Relationships
Building strong relationships with your children is one of the best ways to help them develop self-esteem.
Children who feel loved and supported by their parents are more likely to have a strong sense of themselves.
Children who feel loved, valued, accepted, and supported by others are more likely to value themselves as well.
When children have a safe place for their feelings, they’re better able to handle negative emotions like anger, frustration, or sadness without taking them out on themselves or others.
When children feel loved and cared for, they have less need for external validation from others including teachers, coaches, and other authority figures. A strong sense of self-esteem can help children to:
Build healthy relationships
A child with healthy self-esteem has good relationships with others. Relationships are important because they allow us to learn how to interact with other people, how to share our feelings and thoughts, and how to solve problems together.
Children also need to feel accepted by their peers. If they don’t, it can cause them a lot of distress which can lead to low self-esteem.
Accept and appreciate differences in other
Children who feel connected to others are less likely to develop low self-esteem than those who don’t feel loved or cared for by their parents or others around them.
So you must spend lots of time with your child doing fun things together, going on walks, playing games, and talking about subjects that interest both of you.
You’ll also want to encourage him or her to invite friends over so they can spend time together in a nonjudgmental environment outside of school or home.
Make responsible decisions
Children learn self-esteem by making choices and taking responsibility for their actions.
By encouraging your child to make responsible choices, such as brushing their teeth, putting on their coat, or making sure they have their homework, they will learn that they are in control of their lives and can shape the future.
Resist peer pressure
Peer pressure can be a huge negative influence on children, especially when it comes to self-esteem issues.
One way to help your child develop a positive self-image is by teaching them how to say “no” when appropriate.
This will also teach them how to deal with people who try to manipulate them into doing things that are not good for them or others around them.
How to Help a Child with Low Self-esteem
Self-esteem among children is not always something just discussed. Children with low self-esteem may be more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and feelings of isolation.
Low self-esteem can also cause children to show little enthusiasm, withdraw socially, and highlight a fear of failure.
This can lead to these children developing problems in school and behavioral problems. When a child has low self-esteem it can greatly affect their lives.
Helping a child with low self-esteem can be a huge uphill battle. You always knew there was something different when growing up, but in hindsight, you had no idea how much it was affecting them.
Many children face low self-esteem in everyday life. The causes vary from child to child.
Sometimes low self-esteem can be triggered by a traumatic event or a bad experience. It is therefore important to be aware of how to help.
But even kids without a traumatic experience can suffer from low self-esteem. If a child struggles with self-loathing, how can you help?
Regardless of what caused the low self-esteem, it’s important to know why it’s important to help. This way, you’ll know how to help a child with low self-esteem.
6. Praise effort, not success
Praise the effort your child puts into a task, rather than their ability to succeed. This will help them learn that failure is part of life and that they can always try again.
7. Be a good role model
What you say and do matters more than you think it does. Your child will learn from you by example, so if you have low self-esteem yourself then chances are they will too.
If they see you treating others badly or being too hard on yourself then they will copy this behavior as well.
Be kind to others and treat yourself with kindness as well as respect so that your children can learn these values from you.
8. Encourage healthy self-expression
It’s easy to underestimate the importance of this step. We think, “Oh, it’s just a little thing.” But when we don’t allow our kids to express themselves, they feel like there’s something wrong with them.
So give them the freedom to do so in appropriate ways. For example, if your child wants to wear something that’s not age-appropriate or dress in a way that doesn’t match your family’s style, let them have their way.
You might have to compromise (like letting your 5-year-old wear leggings under her skirt), but ultimately it will help your kid develop self-esteem and feel more confident about expressing himself or herself freely.
9. Set goals and help kids set goals
Setting goals is an important part of life, but it’s especially important for children who are developing strong self-esteem early on in life.
When children have clear goals for what they want to achieve in life, this gives them something concrete that they can strive towards.
It also helps them realize that failure isn’t always the end of the world, sometimes it just means that you need to try again with a different approach or strategy until you finally succeed at what you’re trying to accomplish.
10. Let kids make mistakes sometimes
Letting kids make mistakes is one of the best ways to help them develop self-esteem. This may sound counterintuitive, but it’s true.
Children who are allowed to make mistakes and learn from them become more confident and better able to deal with failure as they get older.
11. Encourage kids to try new things
Trying new things can be scary, but it also helps children learn that they can do more than they think they can do and it builds confidence.
So encourage your child to try something new every once in a while, even if it seems outside their comfort zone. You might be surprised by how much they like it.
Child Self-esteem Activities
As a parent, it’s only natural to want the best for your child.
The main issue that many parents face is knowing how to accomplish this. In an attempt to raise healthy and happy children, many parents enlist the help of others who can provide them with expertise on developing self-esteem in children.
To help you get through these trying times, we’ve put together five child self-esteem activities. These are sure to help build not only your child’s self-esteem but yours too.
Building your child’s self-esteem has a tremendous impact on their future mental health and wellness. There are a lot of things you can do at home to help build your child’s self-esteem and confidence.
Child self-esteem isn’t just important — it’s a foundation. It can be the springboard to building self-confidence and a positive identity.
If you’ve ever had a child in your class or known a child that may need help, these child self-esteem activities are an excellent place to start.
12. Create a list of daily affirmations
As a parent, you are one of the most important people in your child’s life. You can help them develop self-esteem by showing them how much they’re loved and valued.
One way to do this is by creating a list of daily affirmations and sharing it with your child at least once each day. These statements should be things like “I am beautiful” or “I am strong.”
13. Play a memory game
Children love games and puzzles. You can use this fact to help build their self-esteem by playing memory games together with them.
Before bedtime, try playing a game where you flip over cards and ask each other questions about what images are on them or what animals you see on the cards as quickly as possible.
This will help stimulate their brains while also helping them learn new words and concepts.
14. Play the Mirror Game
The mirror game is a great way to build self-esteem in children because it helps them to see themselves as they are.
Some parents think that this can be dangerous if you don’t want your child to know how old they are, but it’s actually a great way for kids to learn about themselves and their bodies and how they change over time.
You can play this game in two ways: with an actual mirror or with pictures of yourself from different stages of your life (birthday parties, first days at school, etc.), and then ask your child what they remember from each stage.
The more memories they can recall, the more confident they’ll feel about being able to remember things in the future.
15. Play the “paper face” game
This is another simple game that can be played with any age group. It’s great for building self-esteem because it helps kids learn to accept themselves as they are by creating new faces with paper cut-outs.
All you need is a paper bag or box filled with different colored paper scraps, glue sticks, and scissors.
Cut out various shapes from the scraps (eyes, noses, mouths, etc.) and glue them onto the inside of your paper bag or box so that when you put your head through it looks like someone else’s face.
Can parents cause low self-esteem?
Parents are the first and most influential people in a child’s life, so it is up to them to set the tone for how their child feels about themselves.
If parents put down their children or constantly criticize them, it can lead to low self-esteem in children and even depression later on in life.
What are emotionally abusive parents?
Emotionally abusive parents are those who treat their children with little love and respect.
They may be physically abusive as well but they don’t have to be.
Emotional abuse can take many forms such as name-calling, humiliation, and controlling behavior. These are things that can destroy a child’s confidence.
Things to never say to your kids
The wrong words can have a lasting negative effect on self-esteem. Here are some that should be avoided:
” You’ll never amount to anything.”
“You can’t do anything right!”
“You’re such a loser!”
“I wish you were never born.”
While you will probably find more effective ways to develop self-esteem in your child, this list will give you a good starting point.
And no matter how small the task may seem, remember that every little bit of self-esteem building counts.
Your child will feel it and you will see the difference in his behavior once he feels confident enough to make new friends and follow his dreams.
The most important thing is to love your child and show sincere interest towards them.
If the child feels that he or she is wanted and loved, any child can start developing their self-esteem which will lead them to success in life.
Even though you are not responsible for everything that happens to us, remember that you are responsible for everything that does not happen to us because of you.