'My son is 8 years old. He says he is dumb and that nobody likes him. He gives up easily and seems to avoid spending time with friends. Once he told me that he would rather be with grandpa, my father, who passed away about a year ago.' These words from one of my clients broke my heart as I imagined this little boy who thought so little of himself!
Building self esteem and confidence in your child is possibly one of the greatest gifts you could give them. Confident people generally have a more positive outlook on life – they enjoy better relationships with others, deal with problems better and handle failure much easier. They also tend to persevere rather than to give up when they are faced with obstacles.
Here are a few tips that I give parents:
Spend one-on-one time with your child.
If you want to give your child a strong sense of self worth and belief, offer your time and attention. Spend one-one time with your child by reading, playing games, having a conversation or helping with homework. Show your support and encouragement if your child is involved in activities like tennis, dancing, drama or painting.
Foster a sense of trust.
Allow children to make their own decisions so that they can learn responsibility. By creating a relationship of trust, you’ll be opening the communication channels and in this way, if a problem arises, they’ll be able to speak to you openly.
Praise them for their accomplishments, and don’t be too hard on them if they fail. Your approval is usually their benchmark– be aware that your expectations are not unrealistic.
Children are sensitive, and often when criticized excessively, they withdraw and develop a poor self esteem. Sometimes, it’s also their inner voice criticizing them which causes them to be too hard on themselves. Tell them positive things about themselves (how talented they are, that they are thoughtful, considerate, funny etc)
Don’t be overprotective.
Allow your child to solve a particular simple problem on his or her own. You will also not be helping much if you are there to rescue them at every turn.
A child needs to know that there certain boundaries within your home and family that have to be adhered to. Rules and boundaries will teach them respect for you and themselves, and prepare them for challenges in their adult life.
- Is your child depressed? Remember that one of the symptoms of depression is poor self esteem and children with depression may feel worthless. If your child seems overly negative about a range of things, including him or herself, then there may be an underlying depression. If you are concerned, please seek professional help. You can also help by giving your child a natural mood tonic like Native Remedies MindSoothe Jr. This is one of the natural remedies that I formulated to help children and, together with positive re-enforcement and lots of love, MindSoothe Jr can help to restore brain balance and lift mood, thereby enhancing your child's confidence and sense of well-being.
A child with poor self esteem needs help. The good news is that children bounce back quickly - especially if the problem is identified early enough! Do you need some advice? You are welcome to CONTACT ME for support!