How to build the self-esteem of our kids? 3 tips to start with
Self-esteem is how we perceive and value ourselves. It roots in our beliefs of our own worth, and gets expressed in self-appreciation. Self-esteem is important to build a healthy level of confidence and resilience, and to keep our boundaries. We, as parents, would want our kids to see themselves valuable, worthy to love and be loved, express themselves freely, and become independent, responsible, balanced adults, wouldn't we? How can we implant a healthy level of self-esteem from early on? See 3 tips below, you can start applying today.
1. Build your own self-esteem
Kids learn the best from examples; and can see through contradictions between words & behavior pretty quickly. There is hardly any use to tell them to believe in themselves (it does not work per command anyway), when we struggle to believe ourselves.
How can we boost our own self-esteem?
List talents & skills of yours, without any ranking or judgement. You bake great cakes? You enjoy cleaning up a mess, and quickly organize chaos into a system? You are quick to learn a new thing, i.e. prepare a recipe you never tried, or use a new application? Whatever your skills are, list them.
Set a numeric goal - observe yourself for three days, and during this time create a list of i.e. fifty skills of yours. It may sound frightening at first, but believe me, it works. Even if you do not meet the target, the five, ten, thirty nine skills you capture, will still be an energizing, motivating list to look at. If you struggle with this exercise, let me know, I am glad to help.
2. List the skills of your child
Independently of age, your kid has already learned numerous new skills - from starting to crawl through tying their shoes to reading, just to name a few. You could keep a long list on their wall, besides their bed, from all the skills they have already demonstrated, and always add a new one, when they master that. If they cannot read yet, you can use drawings or stickers for illustration, or just keep reading it for them, as part of their evening routine. Seeing how their own list of skills is growing, and hearing your proud tone when you repeatedly list it out for them, builds their beliefs in their own strength, abilities, development. Ps. highlighting the power of example again, there is no harm, rather loads of benefits, in keeping your own list of skills & talents in front of you as well - whether besides your bed, above your desk, or as your screen-saver.
3. Invite and encourage them to recognize their own achievements
Turn self-appreciation into a daily habit. As part of your evening routine you can for example ask your child, what skills have they demonstrated that day? From the list of skills they keep hearing from you, and seeing being added to their list, which ones have they practiced? You can then point out, that all the skills they run on auto-pilot now, are the results of loads of efforts, practice and achievement; thus serve as brilliant opportunities to gather experience, confidence and courage built on them. As part of the morning routine you may ask them, which skills and experience of successful learning & application will help them grow, face challenging situations, try new things during the day?
How does this sound? Which of these you see yourself trying?
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