Having adequate self-esteem is vital for life and child development. This is demonstrated by the Child Psychiatry Society of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics by stating that children who have adequate self-esteem have more friends and get along better with them, feel more self-confident and confident in their decisions, while being able to discern what they do right or wrong. It has also been appreciated that adequate child self-esteem stimulates the development of different cognitive skills in children, improves their empathy, enhances assertiveness and improves their learning.
However, adequate self-esteem does not develop by chance. Self-esteem is forged over time and is determined by the perception that parents and other people have of the child. Therefore, if you want your child to develop a healthy self-esteem, you must transmit a positive perception of himself, letting him know that you value him.
How to promote adequate self-esteem in the child?
1. Highlight their effort and achievements
As important as celebrating the child’s achievements, it is highlighting their effort, commitment and level of commitment. In this way you will not simply focus on the achievement and the results achieved but on the road traveled, which in many cases is more important. Therefore, although the result is not perfect, the effort stands out.
2. Give him freedom
Do not try to educate your child within a bubble, overprotecting him and limiting his freedom of action. This educational style will not only restrict the possibilities of living new experiences that allow him develop but it will also affect your self-esteem and self-confidence. If you always solve his problems and make decisions for him, he will never be able to test himself and know how far he can go on his own.
3. Give him the attention he needs
Spending time with children is not only an act of affection but also a responsibility. When parents spend quality time with their children, they learn to know them and connect with the little one, creating an emotional bond that will be the basis of their self-esteem. This way the child will understand that you will be by his side whenever he needs it.
4. Avoid labeling it
To develop adequate self-esteem in the child, it is convenient to avoid labels. In fact, adjectives like “clumsy” and “lazy” are as negative as “artist” or “genius” since they all, in one way or another, limit the child within a label that, sometimes, in the long run, it will weigh heavily on your life.
5. Give him responsibilities
One way to stimulate the child’s self-esteem and make him feel more independent and self-sufficient is to allow him to be part of some of the household chores and decisions. In this way you will be strengthening their self-confidence and security. Start with small things, asking her to help you dry the dishes or set the table and little by little, give her more participation and ask her opinion on different family issues.
6. Love him unconditionally
It is important that the child not only feels protected and safe but also feels loved. Affection is the best way to help him develop and strengthen his self-esteem and self-confidence. Kisses, hugs and cuddles are valid but you must also show him that you love him unconditionally with actions and attitudes. Let her know that even if she makes a mistake, you will be by her side to support her.
7. Avoid comparing him
Comparing your child with his friends or other children is not a good idea. If the comparison is negative, you will be deeply damaging his self-esteem and if it is positive, you will add unnecessary pressure that many children are not capable of coping with. Therefore, it is better to avoid comparisons, simply highlight its positive qualities and when you have to make a criticism, make sure it is constructive.