Self Esteem is about feeling good about yourself. Children are not born with self-esteem. It develops as they grow, through their relationships and experiences.
How Parents Can Help:
Respond to your child’s needs and show them they are important
- Respond quickly and sensitively when your child cries or seems upset with eye contact and soothing words
- Smile at your child and say nice things
- Always respond to your child’s calls for help and attention
Help build independence
- Let them pick activities and the clothes they wear
- Give them choices
- Let them help with the things you are doing
- Teach your child about other people
Give praise and encouragement for the things they do
- Use encouraging words, like “Good for you!” and “That’s amazing!”
Let them explore their environment and learn to feel confident about what to expect from it
- Make a safe place and encourage your child to explore. Let him crawl into a closet if there is nothing harmful inside.
Teach them about feelings and express emotions openly
- Talk about your child’s feelings and the reasons for them, “It really makes you angry, doesn’t it? You were having fun and it’s time to leave”.
- Talk about your own feelings and the reasons for them, “I really am sick of doing the dishes!”
- Talk about other people’s feelings and the reasons for them, “Your sister is sad because I won’t let her watch TV”.
Be consistent with discipline, and take time to talk to children about behaviours
- Use a soothing voice and an explanation of consequences and desired behaviour
Prepare them for new experiences
- Talk to them about where they are going and what they are going to do
- Talk to them about what they are feeling, seeing and hearing