The fragility of kids self-esteem is well known! Carelessly chosen words can cause damage that can take years to undo, so it is important to make sure that children are surrounded by a wealth of positive feedback from an early age.
You can have a huge impact on the development of your children's self-esteem simply by remembering to temper reprimands with constructive criticism and praising often and generously.
You can start when your child is achieving their first goals, by cheering them on as they learn to roll over, to crawl, to walk and talk. Just spending time with and paying attention to your child starts to build their sense of self worth!
As they grow, you can encourage them in each new pursuit, offering gentle encouragement when they fail and rejoicing with them in their successes. By offering positive reinforcement at every juncture you will help them build their self confidence and their self-esteem will become firmly established.
It is important to be aware of input they may be receiving from other sources - older siblings, playmates and teachers or coaches have enormous impact on kids' self-esteem depending on how sensitive your child is and how strong their own sense of self is when they encounter unexpected negativity.
If you have laid a strong foundation for a healthy self-esteem , your child will be able to take criticism in stride, applying what can help them and disregarding any unkindness.
On the other hand, be on the lookout for reactions to derogatory statements or belittling remarks, and make sure your kids self-esteem is not unduly shattered by someone who is thoughtless or cruel.
If you address any ugliness at once, and reaffirm your child’s value you can usually head off trouble, but if your child is reticent and does not immediately tell you when they have been hurt, you may have to watch for warning signs.
Suddenly giving up a sport or activity without explanation may signal the need for a little chat. If it finally comes out that they feel they are ‘stupid’ or ‘clumsy’, you can work on addressing the source of these feelings and rebuild their self confidence by encouraging them with your personal belief that they can and will succeed.
Then again, pushing your child into a field or activity they are not suited for should be avoided at all costs; they will not want to disappoint you, and failure will leave them feeling defeated and useless. Never use your child to vicariously attain your goals, and don’t let anyone else (a teacher, relative or coach) do so either.
Always keep your child’s best interest in mind, and they will thrive and flourish! A kids' self-esteem can be nurtured just like any other aspect of their life. If you concentrate on helping them achieve their goals and praise them for every job well done you will help them build a healthy foundation for a happy future!
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