Tips on how to promote your child's self-esteem
1. Help foster a growth mindset- Help your child change negative thoughts and statements. Kids with a growth mindset are the new focus in education today. It is about helping kids believe their abilities can improve over time, opposed to a fixed mindset, which means that the kids think their abilities are set forever and they can’t improve, no matter how hard they try.
2. Teach that mistakes are learning experiences- Part of having a growth mindset is understanding that mistakes are learning opportunities. Let your child know that it is okay to fail and make mistakes.
3. Encourage Independence- Be patient and let your child work things out on their own from a young age. For example, it may be faster to dress your little one or pack your school-age child’s school bag but letting them do it themselves will promote esteem. They will continue through life, feeling competent and confident that they can solve their own problems.
4. Praise, but don’t over-praise- This is also an important issue in schools at the moment. As teachers and parents, we need to provide constructive feedback. Kids are masters at detecting insincere praise compliments that are insignificant. Praise your child often, but be specific in your compliments so your child believes them. words don't ring hollow. For instance, instead of reacting to your child's latest family picture with, "Wow, that's great. You're the best artist in the world," try something like, "I really like how you used great detail and didn’t forget everyone’s necks and fingers."
5 . Focus on the process, not the result when praising your child- It’s important to praise how your child efforts and process, rather than just praising when they won and achieved an award. Try acknowledging the approach your child took to take to tackling challenges, deal with others in a positive way or train for the race. For example, you could say, “Your hard work and training for your cross-country race is really showing because your time keeps getting better.”
6. Harsh criticism doesn’t work- You might have been raised with comments like, “You are lazy!” and “If you don’t work harder you are never going to amount to anything!”, but these type of comments is detrimental to a child’s well-being. The messages kids hear about themselves from others easily translate into how they feel about themselves. When kids hear negative messages about themselves, it harms their self-esteem.
7. Focus on strengths- Pay attention to what your child does well and enjoys. Make sure your child has chances to develop these strengths. Focus more on strengths than weaknesses if you want to help kids feel good about themselves.
8. Self -esteem activities with your child- There are many activities you can do to promote self-esteem. You can Google ideas if you would like to try it. Working together to create a collage or scrapbook is one. Collect pictures (from magazines) that represent things your child can do or things they like about themselves. Keep this collage or scrapbook somewhere you’ll see it every day.