What exactly is self-esteem?
Self-esteem is all about how happy you are, being you. It simply reflects how much "a person values, appreciates, approves of, or likes him or herself."
Most children will have ups and downs in self-esteem as they go through different stages or challenges in life, and different pressures may affect them - including social media, bullying, exams, family problems and abuse.
Why do self-esteem matter in children?
Those who feel good about themselves have the confidence to try new things. And the same goes for kids and teens. They are more likely to try their best. They easily feel proud and confident in what they can do. Confidence helps kids cope with mistakes. It helps kids try again, even if they fail at first. As a result, self-esteem helps kids do better at school, at home, in sports, and with friends.
Persons with low confidence feel unsure of themselves. They think others won't accept them, so they do not socialize. They may let others treat them poorly but also have difficulty standing up for themselves. Kids with low confidence find it hard to face when they make a mistake, lose, or fail. As a result, they may not do as well as they could have. It hampers their studies and social life. They start feeling inferior.
Why is self-esteem important for children?
A child's self-esteem can affect almost every aspect of their life. For example, self-esteem can influence how they make decisions, how they socialize, and their motivation to try new things.
A child who feels confident and good about themselves is more likely to be motivated to try their best. They believe they can do well and expect to feel proud of their achievements.
A healthy level of self-esteem/confidence can help kids cope with their mistakes and failures because it motivates them to try again, improve and overcome their weaknesses.
How to know if your child has low confidence?
It is easy to notice when kids seem to feel good about themselves, but sometimes parents fail to observe when they don't. You can notice and analyze some things if your child feels complex inside.
Children with high Confidence:
1. Feel liked and accepted
2. Feel good things about themselves
3. They believe in themselves
4. Feel confident
5. Feel proud of what they can do
Children & Young with low self-esteem:
1. Most of the time, kids with low self-esteem are self-critical and hard on themselves.
2. They feel they are not as good as other kids.
3. They lack confidence.
4. They doubt that they can do things well.
5. They do not feel happy about themselves.
How Does Self-Esteem Develop?
Self-esteem can start as early as childhood. It develops gradually over time. It can start just because a child feels safe, loved, and accepted. It can start when a baby gets positive attention and loving care. As babies become toddlers and young children, they can do some things all by themselves. They feel good when they can use their new skills. Their confidence grows when parents pay attention, let a child try, and show they're proud.
As kids grow, self-esteem grows too. This can happen when teens:
1. Are included by others
2. Feel understood and accepted
3. Make progress toward a goal
4. Learn new things at school
5. Make friends and get along
6. Learn new skills- music, sports, art, etc.
7. Praise for good behaviour, etc.
When kids have self-esteem, they feel confident, capable, kind and accepted for who they are. And it can reverse, too, if they have low self-esteem.
How Can Parents Build Self-Esteem In Their Child?
Every child is different. Every parent is different. And, Self-esteem may come more smoothly to some kids than others. And some kids face things that can lower their self-esteem. But even if a child's self-esteem is low, it can be raised with proper parenting and helping them.
Here are the things that parents can do to help kids to make their children more confident:
1. Help your child learn to do things. Ease things for your children in the early stage of their life.
2. Make sure your child gets a chance to learn, try, and feel proud. Balance new things, and don't make new challenges too easy or hard.
3. Praise your child, but do it wisely. Of course, it's good to praise kids. Do not overpraise. But some ways of praising kids can actually backfire.
Tips To Make Your Child More Confident
Here are some of the best tips by which you can help your child in growing confidence.
1. Avoid focusing only on results or fixed qualities. Rather praise the process.
2. If your child has low self-esteem, then it is the best way that you create a family compliment jar in which you can put chits about whatever you feel good about your family and yourself.
3. Spend quality time with your child. Plan a picnic, play with them and let them win.
4. Praise their efforts. Like- You are working hard on this project. Keep going. You are getting better at maths. I'm proud of you for practising the guitar. I am happy that you are consistently trying for your Hindi classes.
5. Let kids help and give. Self-esteem grows when kids see that what they do matters to others. Helping and kind acts build self-esteem and other good feelings.
6. Be a good role model. You're setting a good example when you put effort into everyday tasks. You teach your child to do the same when you do tasks cheerfully. When you avoid rushing through chores and take pride in a well-done job, you teach your child to do that too.
7. Stop using harsh words for your children.
8. Help them focus on their strengths and improve their weaknesses.
Dear Parents, They Need You The Most
Things like starting a new school, changing city, moving house or going through changes in the family can also affect a child's confidence - but with support from parents and other adults, they can usually get through this. Supporting them in a balanced way is the best way you help them grow confidence.