Self-esteem refers to how a person feels about himself or herself. Our self-esteem is determined by our relationships with other people.
|Children With High Self-Esteem||Children with Low Self-Esteem|
|Are willing to try new things||Feel unacceptable, incompetent and unlikable|
|Have faith in their abilities||Are fearful of new interactions and situations|
|Are willing to make decisions||Are Shy or overly aggressive|
|Are willing to take risks||Lack faith in their abilities|
|Are independant||Can be dependant on adults to do things for them|
|Feel Confident||Lack autonomy|
|Have leadership qualities||Be a follower|
How to Build Self-Esteem
To establish a sense of security:
- Let your child know what kind of behaviour you expect from him or her.
- Enforce your rules consistently in ways that build responsibility.
- Build feelings of trust.
- Help your child feel safe.
To build a sense of identity or a positive self-concept:
- Treat your child as an important person.
- Provide love and acceptance.
- Increase your child’s awareness of his or her strengths.
- Spend quality time with your child.
To create a sense of belonging:
- Build close family relationships.
- Teach your child how to be a group member.
- Encourage service to others.
To develop a sense of purpose:
- Have expectations for your child.
- Help your child set realistic goals.
- Demonstrate faith and confidence in your child.
- Expand your child’s interests and talents.
- Set up reward systems when your child needs incentives.
To achieve a sense of personal competence:
- Help your child develop a plan of action for the goals that have been set.
- Provide encouragement and support.
- Give your child feedback regarding progress being made.
How Can Parents Help?
- Listen to what your child is saying.
- Accept your child’s thoughts and feelings.
- Share your thoughts and feelings with your child, for example: “When I was a little girl, I felt nervous and scared during thunderstorms.”
- Don’t use put-downs, for example: “You’re so dumb!” Instead, separate the deed from the doer, for example: “I like you but I didn’t like what you did.”
- Share your mistakes in a positive way with your child. Talking about some of your difficulties and sharing how you resolved these situations teaches your child that problems can be solved.
- Praise your child for their strengths, for example: “Great job!” ‘Terrific!” “Congratulations! You do that very well.”
- Let your child help you. Show appreciation for their contributions, for example: “It’s wonderful to have such a good helper.”
- Encourage your child to make positive statements about himself or herself, for example: “I’m a really good soccer player,” or “When I try hard I can do it.”