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Teaching Kids Self-Esteem

Good self-esteem is essential to a child's development. It is the foundation of everything they do, everything they are - it is the foundation of their future!

Listen, accept, discipline, and set limits for good self-esteem. Allow independent decisions for a positive child with positive self-esteem. Kids need acceptance in order to develop positive esteem.

Self-esteem is built by realistic praise. Kids know when praise isn't realistic. Helping your child grow up with strong self-esteem is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. You’re the primary influence on how your child feels about his/herself and their self-esteem. Who they are is a mirror of you!

It's imperative that your child feels valuable and has strong self-esteem. Kids with high self-esteem have an easier time throughout life. By providing a positive reflection doesn't mean you allow your child to run the family - it means that you that build positive self-esteem.

Build Good Self-Esteem By Accepting Your Child

Accepting your child - their good and their bad, allows your child to accept Him/herself. This is the foundation of self-esteem.

Accept your child without trying to change things about your child to your "terms." Make your child feel valuable and build self-esteem.

Validate your child's experience so that he/she feels seen and understood as a worthy person even when behavior is being corrected.

Use the words "decide" and "choice" often. Stress the consequences of choices. Discuss the behavior, not the child. Criticism lowers self-esteem while having choices and control raises self-esteem. Always stress to your children that life is a series of choices. No one is responsible for their choices, decisions, and actions but your child.

A child's feelings of self-worth are connected to social and academic success. But, not all parents know this. Some parents don’t know how easy it is to damage their child's self-esteem without even realizing it.

Help Your Child Feel Special And Appreciated
An important contributing factor to a child developing self-esteem is an adult who helps the child feel special and appreciated; not ignoring a child's problems - focusing on a child's strengths.

It's important for parents to set aside "special alone times" each week with each of their children. It's a good idea to tell your child "When I read to you, talk to you, or play with you, I won't even answer the phone if it rings." During these special times, focus on things that your child enjoys doing, giving them the chance to relax and display their strengths.

Help Your Child To Develop Problem-Solving And Decision-Making Skills
High self-esteem brings solid problem-solving skills. Help your child reflect upon possible solutions. Try role-playing situations with your child to help demonstrate the steps involved in problem solving.

Avoid Judgmental Comments - Be Positive
By saying to your child -"Try harder and give it more of effort." you sound accusatory.

Many kids try hard and still have difficulty. By saying "We have to figure out better approaches to help you learn" your child will be less defensive. This also reinforces problem-solving skills.


Be Empathetic
Some well-meaning parents, out of their own frustration, will say "Why don't you listen to me?" or "Why don't you use your brain?" If your child is having difficulty with learning, being empathetic and telling your child that you know they're having difficulty includes your child in thinking about possible solutions.

Give Your Child Choices
This lessens power struggles. Ask your child if they would like to be reminded five or ten minutes before bedtime to get ready for bed. These choices help to set the foundation for a feeling of control over one's life.

Siblings Should Never Be Compared
It's imperative not to compare siblings. Reinforce the strengths of all your children.

Highlight Your Child's Strengths
Most kids see themselves negatively - especially at school. List your child's areas of strength. Select a strength - reinforce and display it.

Provide Opportunities For Kids To Help
Kids love to help others. By offering them opportunities to help makes them feel like they have something to offer the world. Involving your child in charitable work a great way to make them feel good about themselves and others. It will raise their self-esteem.

Set Realistic Expectations And Goals For Your Child
Realistic expectations give your child with a sense of control.

If Your Child Has A Learning Disability, Help Them To Understand The Nature Of Their Problem
Many kids have fantasies and misconceptions about their learning problems which add to their distress. Having realistic information can give your child a greater sense of control and a feeling that things can be done to help the situation.

Build Self-Esteem With Discipline And Limit Setting
Kids who are not disciplined can not grow up with high self-esteem. They can feel more dependent -- feeling that they have less control over their world.

Physical and emotional protection of rules and limits to grow self-esteem are essential for kids. When you give your child acceptance and he/she can see you value, and appreciate him/her.

Proper discipline adds self-esteem. Helping your child set self-limits builds self-esteem. Discipline and limits grow self-esteem. Self-esteem grows best with consistency.

When a child faces something new and succeeds, their self-esteem grows. If, most of the time, they hear, "yes" or "try it," their self-esteem grows.

Build Self-Esteem With Praise - Not Overpraising
Praising gives kids the message that you accept and appreciate them. They learn to praise themselves and recognize and value their own efforts and talents. However, overpraise creates pressure to be the "smartest, best, most wonderful kid ever," a set-up for eventual failure.

Build Self-Esteem For Overweight Children
Always be proud of your child for who they are. Be their champion him in every area! Overweight kids are like any other kids. Don’t force dieting - over 98% of diet methods fail.

If you have an "overweight" child, it is essential to introduce healthy eating - not dieting. Some parents resort to name calling as a an inducement to losing weight. This is not the answer. Work with your child on proper food choices and portions.

Your child needs your support in every area of their life. Reinforce and strengthen all of the good things they do with praise and confidence!

More than likely your child is being teased or bullied at school. Their physical and mental health are of prime importance. If they are being bullied because he they are overweight, get together with school staff, other parents, support groups and make some changes.

Encourage you child to be more active. Not in competitive team sports - this will only make him feel worse - but by walking with you, shooting baskets with you, rolling down hills, swimming, dancing, etc. This will allow your child to achieve on their own level, with dignity and pride.

More than anything, be proud of your child for who he is, champion him in every area - overweight kids are just as normal as anyone else.

There are many ways you can help build your kids’ self-esteem. The first and most important way is by demonstrating your love for them on a constant basis. The more kids feel loved, the better their self-esteem will be.

Here are a few tips you can try to enhance good self-esteem:

Compliment Notes
Give your child sticky notes with the following sentences are written:
Amy, you are good at . . . .
Bobby, I like the way you . . . .
Tommy, you are special because . . . .

How I Feel About Myself
Help your child realize that it’s normal to like and dislike various things about themselves. Point out that just because they don't like something about themselves, that it doesn't make them less wonderful or less likable.
Self-Love Sheet
At a daily sharing time have kids list things about themselves they like. They should share this with a sibling or entire family.

Behaviors That Build Self-Esteem
The following are behaviors that help to build strong self-esteem:

SMILES
HUGS
EYE CONTACT
TOUCHING
PRAISE
ACCEPTANCE
WARMTH
LISTENING
QUALITY TIME
ENCOURAGING
BEING SUPPORTIVE
COMMUNICATING
NO PUT-DOWNS
COOPERATING
NON-JUDGMENTAL ATTITUDES
GIVING RESPONSIBILITY
RESPECTING OTHERS

 



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