Healthy self-esteem is like a child’s armor for the challenges that throw the world to him.
Children who know their strengths and weaknesses and feel themselves well at the same time are easier to cope with conflicts and resist negative influence.
They, as a rule, easily and readily respond with a smile to smile and enjoy life.
They are realists and, in general, optimists.
In contrast, children with low self-esteem can treat problems as sources of great anxiety and frustration.
Those who think about themselves badly, find it difficult to get out of problem situations.
If they indulge in self-critical thoughts, such as “I do not know how” or “I can not do anything right”, it leads to passivity, closure or depression. When such children face a new problem, their primary reaction is “I can not.”
What is self-esteem?
Self-esteem is similar to the notion of “one’s own dignity” (the way a person values himself). It can change from day to day or year to year, but in general, self-esteem tends to develop from infancy and continue to develop until we grow up.
Another definition of self-esteem is the belief that you are capable of doing something, and at the same time that you are loved. A child who is satisfied with the achievements, but does not feel that he is loved, can eventually acquire a low self-esteem. In addition, a child who feels loved, but who does not have confidence in his own abilities, may also develop low self-esteem. Healthy self-esteem is observed in the presence of a sound balance between these two concepts – love and confidence in their abilities.
Self-assessment models are installed at the very beginning of life. The concept of success, following the efforts and perseverance, is formed at an early age. As soon as people reach adulthood, it becomes more difficult to change their perception of themselves.
Therefore it is wise to think about the development and promotion of one’s own dignity as a child. When children try to do something, they fail and try again and again, and then, finally, they succeed, they get an idea of their own capabilities. At the same time, they form a self-image, interacting with other people. That is why the participation of parents in this process is a key factor to help children form a correct and healthy self-image.
Parents and educators can contribute to the acquisition of healthy self-esteem, encouraging and showing the pleasure of the child’s activities in many areas.
Avoid focusing on one particular area.
For example: on the successes in the spelling test, which can give children the feeling that they are valued only for good grades.
Signs of unhealthy and healthy self-esteem
Self-esteem fluctuates as the children grow up. It often changes, it is sharpened, because it depends on the experience of the child and his new sensations. Self-esteem is the factor by which a state of self-esteem can be judged.
Children with low self-esteem may not want to learn something new and can negatively talk about themselves: “I’m stupid,” “I’ll never learn how to do it,” or “What’s the matter? No one cares about me in any way. ” They can show little tolerance for what’s upsetting them, easily surrendering or expecting someone else to take it upon themselves. Such children are usually overly critical and easily disappointed in themselves.
Children with low self-esteem perceive temporary failures as permanent, unbearable conditions, they are dominated by a sense of pessimism. This can lead children to the risk of stress and mental health problems, as well as to real difficulties in dealing with the various problems and challenges they face.
Children with healthy self-esteem, as a rule, like to communicate with other people. They easily feel in public places, they like group activities, as well as self-study. When problems arise, they work on finding solutions and eliminating dissatisfaction without degrading themselves or others.
For example, instead of saying: “I’m stupid,” the child with a healthy self-esteem says: “I do not understand this.” They know their strengths and weaknesses and accept them. They have a sense of optimism.
How parents can help
What should parents do to develop a healthy self-esteem in a child? For this, you need to be guided by certain principles in education. These tips will help you:
Be careful in your words. Children can be sensitive to the words of parents and to what others say. Do not forget to praise your child not only for a well-done job but also for the efforts made. But be truthful. For example, if your child does not get into a football team, do not say something like: “Well, next time you better train and you’ll succeed.” Instead, say: “Although you did not get into the team, but I’m really proud of the efforts you have made for this.” Give credit to the efforts of the child and what he has achieved.
Sometimes simply there is no level of qualification of the child – therefore your help to children in overcoming frustration can really help them to understand, that at them it turns out well and on what still it is necessary for them to work. As adults, we will normally use humor to help our children understand themselves and appreciate what makes them unique.
Be a role model. If you are excessively harsh towards yourself, pessimistic or not fully confident in your abilities and limitations, your children will eventually inherit you. Educate your own self-esteem, and this will be an excellent example to follow.
Identify and channel the wrong beliefs. It is important for parents to determine the children’s misconceptions about themselves about their luck, attractiveness, abilities or anything else. Helping children establish clear standards and be more realistic in their self-perception will help them to have a healthy self-esteem.
Wrong self-perception can take root and become a reality for children. For example, a child who is very good at school, but who has difficulty with mathematics, can say: “I can not solve math. I’m a bad student”. This is not only a false statement, it is also a belief that programs the child to failure. Encourage children to perceive the situation more objectively. A useful answer in this case: “You are a good student. You’re a good student at school. Simply math is a subject that you need to spend more time on. We’ll do it together. ”
Be natural and affectionate. Love will help increase your child’s self-esteem. Hug them and say that be proud of them when you see how they are making an effort to do something or are trying to do something that they previously could not. Put the note in the box for the child’s breakfast with words like “I think you’re super!”.
Praise often and honestly, but do not overdo it. Overestimated self-perception can affect the fact that children and adolescents will suppress others or feel that they are better than everyone else, and this can lead to the fact that they will be isolated socially.
Give positive and clear advice. Comments like “You always behave like an abnormal!” Make children feel that they do not control the outbursts of their anger at all. It’s better to say: “I see that you are very angry with your brother, but it would be good to tell him about it, and not shout at him or hit him.” By this you recognize the feelings of the child, reward the choice made by him and encourage him to do the right thing the next time.
Create a safe, cozy and loving home atmosphere. Children who do not feel safe or exposed to violence at home are at greatest risk of developing low self-esteem. A child who constantly sees disputing and fighting parents, it seems that he does not control his environment at all and becomes helpless or depressed.
Also watch for signs of abuse of others, problems in school, troubles with peers and other factors that can affect the self-esteem of children. Encourage them to talk with you or with other people they trust, how to solve too big a problem that they find it difficult to solve on their own.
Help the children participate in activities that will help them in the future. Activities that encourage cooperation, rather than competition, are particularly useful for the development of self-esteem.
For example, mentoring programs in which an older child helps the younger learn to read can work miracles for both. Volunteering and contribution to the activities of your local society can have a positive impact on self-esteem for all its participants.
When forming a healthy self-esteem, it is important not to overdo it and not to give too little, everything should be in moderation. Make sure that in the end, your children do not have a sense of mediocrity if they do not get anything well or in a special way.
The family is a unique place of personal development.
The child spends most of his time with his parents. Do not spare the effort to lay a strong positive foundation in your child’s personality! This requires a lot of work and on yourself too.
We will be glad to discuss this topic with you in the comments. Write to us and personally through the feedback form on the site, if you have any questions.
If you find it difficult to manage yourself, ask questions and together we will try to find answers.