Building Baby’s Self Esteem

August 27, 2012

You probably do it many times per day, as I know I do. That is to give your baby a cheer, a round of applause, or a “You Did It!!” after she successfully reaches for a toy or claps her hands. Some people do not realize how important this really is for a child. It’s your praise that builds her self esteem, makes her want to try again and again, and helps her begin to believe in herself.

So, try to provide her with plenty of opportunities for her to earn your words of praise. Give her age-appropriate toys that she can learn and master. If she is working on grasping and reaching, put squeezable objects just far enough away that she needs an effort to crawl to them. Sit back and watch her attempt to get them. Try not to help her unless she gets frustrated. Commend her for her efforts (“You are doing a great job trying to get that ball!”) and her performance (“You did a great job making that big tower with your blocks”). These kinds of encouragement lets children know that you are really paying attention – and what baby doesn’t love being the center of attention?

Here are some more ways to help encourage your child’s self-esteem:

Give unconditional love

  • Pay attention
  • Teach limits
  • Let mistakes happen
  • Celebrate the positive
  • Listen well
  • Resist comparisons
  • Offer empathy