Children who have high self-esteem have an easier time handling conflicts, resisting negative pressures, and making friends. They laugh and smile more and have a generally optimistic view of the world and their life. It is easier for them join in, will use words to express themselves, interact with others, are happy and confident, they try to do new things, respect themselves, overall they are socially better. Children with low self-esteem have a difficult time dealing with problems, are overly self-critical, and can become passive, withdrawn, and depressed, not feeling the need to try. They may hesitate to try new things, may speak negatively about themselves, are easily frustrated, and often see temporary problems as permanent conditions. The importance of self-esteem is not only played out in the emotional health of the child, but in the child’s ability to succeed in society.
Help your child to become confident in the themselves by giving the tools to do so. Place your child in situations to work on this and instead of doing it for them allow them to do it on their own.
Here are 7 neat ways to help a child develop self confidence from Susan Case of kindergartenbasics.blogspot.com:
- Focus on your child’s strengths making them feel special, important, and wanted. Every day, give them compliments and hugs and tell them you love them. The most precious words will then be heard by you, “I wuuvv u, too.”
- Focus fifteen minutes a day per child of interrupted one-on-one time. Great results may be seen with only fifteen minutes of uninterrupted concentration on a child. Then they may have the desire and confidence to play/work/learn on their own giving you some down time. Turn off the phone, or put it on silent, so that it won’t be disruptive to your child’s special time. Adults can usually wait awhile for your phone or email response.
- Help your child develop problem-solving and decision-making skills. Let them get their own drink and snacks by putting them in reachable places so they can learn some independence skills. Common sense is needed but children are capable of accomplishing many tasks with encouragement, patience, and praise. Talk about solutions to problems. If you don’t know the answer to one of their numerous questions, tell them: “I don’t know. Let’s find out together.”
- Stay positive with your child. Don’t compare them to others. Every child is different with their own strengths and personality. Focus on what they can do and provide challenges and opportunities that are appropriate for their level of development. Your child’s sense of value is directly related to how you treat them and respond to their accomplishments. Family members are the most important people in the world to little ones.
- Provide choices such as, “Would you like to wear the green shirt or the yellow shirt?” If you are staying home, let them choose what to wear, or make as many choices as is reasonable. In Katie’s case, perhaps telling Munchkin many times that she looks beautiful in any color will solve the dress problem. Children do not care about labels in clothes, they just want to be comfortable, have fun, and feel good about themselves. Perhaps Katie could buy some inexpensive dresses in different colors at a thrift shop and put back the Easter dress for that special day. What little girl doesn’t like to dress up in mom’s old dresses, shoes and hats? Throw in a boa, old purse, and tea set and I bet Munchkin will feel beautiful and special for many hours of imaginative play.
- Provide opportunities for your child to help and praise them frequently. Use a sticker chart or draw happy faces on the calendar when your child has wonderful behavior or learns something new. Treat them to something special when the stickers or happy faces have accumulated to a pre-determined number. The best rewards cost little—except your time. Counting the stickers will reinforce math also.
- Help your child make a book, box or sack titled I Like Me! Include their letter scribbles, drawings, and photos. Print their words on the front or back showing that letters have meaning. Putting the date will help you realize how fast they are learning and developing. Re-reading their book will build confidence, vocabulary and the desire to create more art while they learn in the process Read the notes and book on days when you wonder: Who’s child is this? What was I thinking?