Children need nurturing and constructive teaching to develop safely and healthily. When you acknowledge them, you build a lasting bond between you and the child, which also rubs off on their self-esteem. These are simple ways you can build your child’s self-esteem.
1. Acknowledge your child’s feeling.
Children learn about their sense of self through the way that you interact with them. Here they learn that their feelings have value and thus, they themselves have value as well. Through this means also, they learn how to respond accurately to others if they appear to be in that situation. When a child feels distressed, disappointed or struggle to comprehend their feeling, it behooves on the caregiver to acknowledge their feeling. This singular action does two things:
- Solve the need the feeling is highlighting which in turn, helps them internalize their relevance as human beings.
- The child feels safe and heard, and gradually learns to self-regulate.
It is worthy of note that ignoring a child’s feeling is synonymous to ignoring him or her as individuals.
See Also: 4 Things No One Told You About Feelings
2. Listen To Your Child
Listening to a child not only builds their self-esteem but also, and importantly, it makes them feel wanted, lovable and acceptable. Consistent reinforcement helps to create the security they need to live all through their lives. It makes them know that they are valid enough; such that, they do not need to fold into themselves or add any drama to captivate your attention. Also, listening without judgement is pivotal to not just build their self esteem, but improve your relationship with them.
3. Treat Him or Her as An Individual
When you allow a child to express their choices without judgment or comparison to another person, it creates a safe space for the child where he or she feels completely accepted for who they are. A child can have a different set value other than what other family members share in common. It is imperative that you let the child nurture their values, as long as it is in line with what you feel is safe and responsible. An activity that is rewarding for one person might be another person’s idea of punishment.
In so doing, you help them to not just nurture their individuality, but to also nurture their strength. And as a natural consequence, imbibe in them, the understanding of their own value as individuals.
4. Let Them Own Their Voice
Every person comes with a unique personality and this uniqueness is what distinguishes one person from another. It is no different for children. When a child is allowed to be himself or herself, he or she learns to love and value themselves for who they are. As a result, they unconditionally grow a positive self-image. This also helps them become autonomous later in life and further broaden their sense of security. Acquaint yourself more with this sub-topic as it is very critical in helping them develop a positive self-image.
5. Respect your child
Besides the aforementioned, there are various ways you can respect your child. By respecting their Nos and Yes without seeking to influence them against their will. Studies have shown that parents who go against this golden rule, often do that for selfish and unhealthy reason. And this ultimately poses a danger to the child.
If for any reason you seek to sway them against their choices, you need to explain to them why it is so. This is such that their they will come to understand that they have inalienable value as a person. Consequently, they restrain from seeking affirmations in unhealthy ways.
When you respect your child, you help them own their voice. while you also help them see the core of their being. Some things are better modeled than narrated, and respect is one of them. The message it communicates is more powerful through action than when it is spoken.
Did you gain any insight from this chapter? I hope you did. As a parent, taking these steps in bit-sized portions and adjusting them as it relates to your own circumstances is important both for yourself and your child. Therefore, the ways you can build your child’s self-esteem are resourceful to the extent that you can absorb and apply them.
While we would love to have a world filled with kids bursting with confidence and a healthy sense of self-esteem, parents and caregivers need to nurture their own needs too. That way, you can come to understand your child’s needs (feelings) and adequately help them meet those needs. Children learn best from what they watch you do. Hence, right modelling is important. If you have a positive self-image, it will unavoidably rub off on how you relate with child.