How to build a child’s Self Esteem is a big task many parents are failing to do and before they know it, the child has grown and lacks a lot of it. This means that parents have roles to play if their children are to have high levels of self-esteem.
WHAT EXACTLY IS SELF ESTEEM?
Merriam Webster defines self-esteem as a confidence and satisfaction in oneself. ‘’Self-esteem’ can, therefore, be said to be the same as ‘self-confidence.’ They are both used interchangeably.”
Self-esteem or self-confidence is the manner by which an individual sees, weighs, and carries him or herself. Self-esteem, therefore, pertains to the value or worth one places on his/her own self.
THE ROLE OF PARENTS IN BUILDING A CHILD’S SELF ESTEEM
It remains strictly unarguable that parents or guardians have a gargantuan role to play in building and feeding the self-esteem or self-confidence of their child.
According to a study by University of Washington researchers, as early as at age 5, children already have a sense of self-esteem comparable in strength to that of adults. That is to say that at the age of 5, a child has already structured the foundation for the self-confidence with which he will live for the rest of his/her life.
If children aged 5 already have a sense of self-esteem, it must be regarded as a clear indicator that parents and guardians contribute largely to the level of confidence children turn out to have in themselves when they grow into teenagers and ultimately, into full grown adults.
Dario Cvencek, a research scientist at the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences said concerning their findings: “Our work provides the earliest glimpse to date of how preschoolers sense their selves. We found that as young as 5 years of age, self-esteem is established strongly enough to be measured, and we can measure it using sensitive techniques.”
WHAT IS THE LINK BETWEEN PARENTS AND THE SELF ESTEEM OF THEIR CHILD?
As aforesaid, parents or guardians inevitably play a huge part in determining the level of self-esteem a child turns out to have when he is finally an adult. People are always influenced by what they hear and see, children especially.
The environment and atmosphere a child grows up in and the words he is constantly fed with shapes his paradigm, including his paradigm of himself. Before children begin to develop self-worth from their own achievements and accomplishments, they first look up to adults around them to derive a sense of themselves. This is the best time to instill the right words in them and portray the right attitude and behaviour before them. At this stage, parents must encourage, motivate and celebrate their children and not talk them down in any way. Although constructive and strategic discipline and instructing must never be sidelined, embarrassing, bashing and treating children with disdain isn’t a good choice either.
Whether your child fails at something or not, never make them feel like they are a disappointment or that another kid is better off than they are. Children see and understand these things and their minds assimilate them in ways that shape their perception of themselves.
THE DANGERS OF LEAVING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SELF-ESTEEM OF YOUR CHILD TO FATE
To leave the development of your child’s self-esteem to chance or fate is to leave your child to the influence of the world outside your home. Guess what? The world doesn’t feel obliged to love your child or treat him/her fairly and they most likely will not.
Your child is unlikely to build good self-esteem on his own (without positive help). The direct implication of this is that if you aren’t deliberate about helping your child become self-confident, your child probably will never be self-confident.
The reason is simple; He/she will have to resort to other kids, school, other adults, television, etc to help and it would almost certainly end in catastrophe. Other kids will jeer at the slightest chance, schools will judge your child by grades and other conventional academic criteria, other adults are too busy with work or loving their own kids, and the media is a bottomless pit of contents that are in majority unhealthy for kids.
Every parent is saddled with the responsibility of nurturing those under their care. It is never advisable to do so nonchalantly or leave such responsibilities in random hands.
FAQs: SIMPLE WAYS TO BUILD A CHILD’S CONFIDENCE?
If you are a parent or guardian and you want your child to have high self-esteem from his or her early age, it is important that you look at how best to
#1 Love your child or children unconditionally
#2 Praise your child little success and when praise is due do not deny him or her. If he is able to wash the dishes, praise him if she is able to do her assignment even with your help praise her.
#3 Help your child to set goals or targets for the day or set weekly targets that you can both work at.
#4 Model self-love and positive self-talk. It is important to teach children to be confident and believe in themselves. They must be guided out of a feeling of inferiority complex as this has the tendency to make the child timid, reserved and shy. Help them express their views and opinions without being offensive but rather assertive.
#5 Teach your child to be resilient. Life is not always honey. There are tough times and moments when one fails and is down. They must learn to cope and work hard to come out of the situation. For instance, if your boy’s school team loses a game, encourage him to put it behind and help his team work harder.
#6 Instill independence and adventure into your family life. There are times, you have to monitor your child from afar while he or she is in the company of others. Take part in advantageous activities and fun to help build confidence and overcome little fears and phobias.
#7 Encourage sports or other physical activities to help build team spirit, discipline, hard work and above all self-esteem.