Self-esteem is crucial to a child’s development. It can make or break academic achievement, participation in school, willingness to engage in clubs or activities, relationships with peers, and their overall mental health and happiness.
Higher self-esteem in child development will help with:
- The ability to recover from mistakes
- A sense of control
- Feeling respected
- Ability to build relationships
- Making well-balanced decisions when faced with peer pressure
The following are all factors that can influence the growth and development of a child’s self-esteem.
Positive Role Models
Growing up, it is important to surround your child with positive role models within your family and community. This can include strong family members, involved members of the community, and leaders within clubs and organizations. By seeing well-established, confident members of the community, children will have examples to look up to. Children and teens have a lot of outside influences, most of which are social media influencers. This form of self-esteem is not realistic and most generally not completely real or authentic. They need SIGNIFICANT influence.
Journaling offers a wonderful opportunity to self-reflect and express emotions. This low-stress activity can help confidence grow and allow for your child to work through difficult problems they are facing. Part of having strong self-esteem is being able to express your emotions and feelings. Journal writing provides this experience without asking for help until they are ready.
It is easy to praise your child. You probably do it on a regular basis. Maybe they score a basket, get an A on a test, get accepted into a club at school, or secure a role in the spring play. What you may not do is praise your child for their effort rather than their success. If they are only praised for what they can do well and not what they work towards, self-esteem may drop rapidly. They will feel that the only time they are doing well in life is when they are successful in everything they try. This will create a downward spiral of excluding themselves from trying new things. Make sure to acknowledge the good and bad.
This may be a given, but let your child know that they are loved beyond belief. Express to them how much they are valued. Practice expressing your emotions to them with no reason other than you appreciate them at that moment.
Below are a few additional activities that we believe will help your child reach their full potential and have a solid foundation to build self-esteem:
- Design daily affirmations
- Discuss strengths and differences they have with family or friends
- Make a "5 things I like about me" list
- Self-love journal
- Develop a growth mindset
We are challenging you to start taking steps to build your child’s self-esteem. Encourage and uplift the boys and girls in your life.