Children in today’s world are under more pressure than ever. They’re exposed to huge levels of media marketing and pressure from their friends to look or act a certain way. Add that to the normal confusion and uncertainty children face when growing up and it’s no wonder so many suffer from low self-esteem and need help to build their self-confidence.
As parents we want the best for our children, and we want them to grow into happy and confident adults, with strong self-esteem.
The key to parenting children so they build their self-esteem is to reassure them that they are unique and valuable, whilst also helping them to find activities which will build their self-confidence. One great way of doing this is to take your children on activities which will be challenging for them.
It’s important to let them try out new and sometimes scary activities for themselves. Activities like Indoor rock climbing or go-karting can be a way of getting them moving and learning something new. Part of finding self-confidence and building self-esteem is about doing things outside of your comfort zone. When we support our children to expand their horizons in this way it adds to their confidence, growing their self-esteem.
Although it might be tempting to give our children lots of praise, especially if we think they are suffering from a lack of self-worth, it’s not always the best idea. Blanket compliments for the slightest thing just teach our kids to expect praise all the time, lessening its value. Now I’m not saying never praise your children of course! Just make sure the praise you give out is well-placed and tied to activities where you can see they have really pushed themselves and worked hard.
Letting your kids be more independent is another great way to build self-confidence. The first time you let your children go and play in the park by themselves might be scary, but being able to interact with the world and learn for themselves is a wonderful way of building self-confidence. Letting them take risks and try new activities which are age-appropriate, can really help them to feel capable. It’s not easy to stand back and let go, but when we hover over our kids, doing everything for them, we are teaching them we don’t trust that they’re able to do those things for themselves.
The best way we can help our children to grow is to let them find out the things they are good at for themselves and support them with unconditional love. This means praising them when it’s appropriate, pushing them to go outside of their comfort zones, and supporting them when things don’t go their way.
That way they learn that they need to work hard and stretch themselves to achieve, but that it’s also ok to make mistake and to trust themselves and their abilities.
Getting this balance right leads to happy, healthy children who have great self-esteem.