Self-esteem is the foundation to build confidence in children. It is the driving force behind the behaviour of the child. Without it, children will not be happy.
I had read a quote in one of the resources I used during my teaching days in school.
“Children need to realize what others appreciate about them in order to feel self-worth”.
During the teacher training sessions and workshops that I attended, it was emphasized that as educators we need to empower children by making them confident about themselves.
Parents and teachers need to focus on a child’s emotional and social needs to nurture self-esteem.
While schools nowadays focus a lot in building interpersonal, intra-personal, social and emotional skills in children through various activities, devising a holistic academic curriculum and introducing sports in the daily school routine.
This is what we can do as parents:
- Praise children. Reward them, recognise their efforts.
- Emphasize their strengths and not on their weakness.
- Define rules clearly. Make them a part of the decision making. Let them make their own rules.
- Focus on self-discipline, rather than forced discipline.
- Always show care, empathise and do not sympathize.
- Be available to them. Be a good listener. Give support whenever they need it.
- Talk with them about their interests, likes and dislikes. Talk about the activities they would like to do. Be their partner.
- Have reasonable expectations from children. Help them set achievable goals so they can achieve success.
- Give children responsibility. Involve them in household chores. Help them understand the importance of responsibility and accountability.
- Help them develop tolerance. Share stories which depict tolerance.
- Refrain from blaming them. Children will not look for solutions if they are blamed for their mistakes.
- Make efforts to understand their emotions. Take their feelings seriously, do not belittle them.
- Use positive reinforcement techniques. Use positive phrases to motivate them.
- Avoid phrases that hurt their self-esteem: “You never understand”, “This dress is not looking good on you”, “You need to lose weight”, “You are so skinny”, “You don’t look good with spectacles”, “How many times should I remind you?”
- Be a good role model. Let them know that you also make mistakes and try and learn from them. Let them know that you feel good about yourself.
Please share your views and do mention in comments if you would like to add any more points to focus on to build self-esteem in children.
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