Be Positive Toys

For a Positive Start in Life

Laying the ground work for good Self Esteem

on January 11, 2013

confidentParents are responsible for laying the ground work to raise children with strong self esteem. While there are many outside influences and our children themselves will develop their own self worth to a degree, parents have an important task of building a strong foundation.

The foundation begins when they are babies. Although very young babies don’t even see themselves as being their own person, how we treat them and react to them lets them know that they are loved. Self esteem is all about loving yourself and loving who you are. Having a loving, supporting family plays a big part.

By the time your child is a toddler, they will want to make more decisions on their own but they are still looking to you all the time for approval. Giving them the opportunity to make age appropriate decisions let’s teaches them that they have some control to make things happen. This adds to their self worth. Letting them say ‘no’ is also very important at building self confidence.

In the preschool age they will begin to see themselves as their own person. They will also notice others and compare their abilities. Although they may seem very self centered, they will often point out how they are better than others. This is a normal part of development. Of course most parents do want to think of their kids as the best, it is important to give balanced feedback at this age. Let them know that they may be very good at playing catch but their playmate is very good at coloring. This allows them to feel proud of who they are but also teaches them to value others.

School age children get the hardest hit to their growing self esteem. They will compare themselves to others with greater understanding and pick up on where their abilities lack. They will be exposed to children that like to openly point out their shortcomings. This can easily lead to bullying that can leave lasting damage to their self esteem. At this stage, parents need to support that important foundation. Extra attention is often needed whether its extra hugs and encouragement or extra time spent getting involved with school activities. Focus on your child’s strengths while giving them the opportunity to try new things that will lead to developing new strengths. Also important is allowing failure. They need to win some and lose some to know that they are strong enough to recover.

Never stop encouraging, loving and believing in your child. Everyone needs to know that they are valued in order to see goodness in themselves.

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