Healthy Self Esteem is important. Children who feel good about themselves are better set for success socially and academically. Healthy self-esteem helps children gain in confidence, face challenges, enjoy successes and cope with disappointments or mistakes.
Give your children choices:
While we desire our children to follow directions and this is an important skill it is also essential that we give them choices so they can own a decision and grow in confidence as they see the results of their decision making. This encourages them to be active and not passive participants in their life – knowing they have something positive to add. These choices should remain age appropriate and within your set guidelines. “Would you like to play with the blocks or the cars?” “Would you like a bagel or a sandwich?” “Would you like to wear blue socks or green socks today?”
Don’t do everything for them:
Children grow in confidence as they master new skills. We should look for opportunities for children to practice new age appropriate challenges and watch their success and skill level increase.
No one is perfect:
It’s important for our children to know that no one is perfect and we can recover from mistakes and try again. Helping children learn how to handle disappointment or failure with grace for themselves is essential in creating a confident child who is willing to persevere. Allow them to see your process as you navigate changes or disappointments. Verbalize your positive self-talk aloud to model that for your child.
Knowing who we are in Christ:
We gain our greatest self-esteem as we grow in the knowledge of who we are in Christ and how deeply our God loves us and desires for us to delight in our relationship with Him. We can talk to our children as they grow regularly about this reality.
Age appropriate household chores help children to engage in valuable contribution to the family knowing they are part of the fabric of the family unit helping it to function and be successful.
Don’t compare your children:
Even though our children came from the same genetic pool they are each unique and have differing strengths and weaknesses. Allow your kids to hear you talking positively about them to others. This boosts self-esteem greatly. Try to avoid comparing your children to each other or their friends. Look for the gifting they have and give them opportunities to share that and safe moments to practice things they struggle with within the safety of your loving environment.
Wider social experiences:
Expanding their social circles as they grow and allowing them to know who they are and how to respond within other networks also helps them gain a deeper sense of self and confidence in that knowledge. (School, church, sports teams etc..)
Get lots of rest:
We all function better and respond to disappointments better when we have had enough rest. Regular bedtimes and plenty of sleep is a gift to body and soul!