I thought that I should write a blog on boosting your child's self esteem as we transfer to this new reality of home schooling. I for one am NOT a teacher and so I do enforce designated "school" time but am also still ensuring that I am taking care of their feelings and emotions during this pandemic so that their self esteem is still being nurtured.
Self Esteem is something that many people struggle with, but it is especially challenging for kids. As a child or pre-teen, there are many pressures in everyday life to fit in and just be "accepted" I know for each of my children they have had personal bullies and had to overcome being teased and made fun of. We certainly work self confidence in this house and so I thought I'd share; you know since we have "time" right now.
I started with talking to each of my children individually, and my big marker is "Hey Honey, can you look in the mirror and say I love you?" This is where it all begins. Then I ask them to describe to me what makes them feel like a million dollars? Is it when I tell them they did a good job? Is it the clothes they wear? Or when their friends tell them they looked pretty today. Is it the way they do their hair or a high mark they got on a test? Did they speak well, do a chore properly, do something extra without being asked? These are all cues to making them feel secure and accepted at home and socially.
Here are some specific ways to help increase your child's self esteem (at any age)
Give Compliments and Praise
Don't underestimate how powerful a compliment or praise can be, especially from a parent. Your child wants to know they're doing a good job, that their efforts are appreciated, and have encouragement to keep going. It can really boost their confidence when YOU praise them when they work hard. This shouldn't be an empty praise. When your child puts in an effort to do something or try something new a genuine "Good Job" coming from you speaks thousands of energy boosting pride vibrations.
Allow your Children to Make Choices
Believe it or not, your children can grow up with better self-esteem when they are left to make their own choices. Within reason of course, but you want them to understand that in life, there are many choices, and you have so much confidence in them that you believe they will make the right ones. If you never let your child make any decisions in their younger years, they don't really gain this type of confidence in themselves. (This was probably the hardest parent lesson that I had to learn - it's okay to let them struggle, and it's okay to let them choose the choice that you would not - they need to learn)
Be a Good Role Model for Self Confidence
Yes, be the change you want to see. When you exude self love and self confidence, they too will replicate. Be someone who doesn't put yourself down, or that is constantly making actions or comments to make them think that you doubt yourself or that you don't believe in yourself. Put in an effort, try new challenging things, talk with your child when you fail, and tell them you're not upset because you put in the effort (we only fail forward). Your children are watching EVERYTHING you do and are going to take after you, even when you don't realize it.
Practice Positivity and Kindness
To be confident and have self-esteem also means to be humble. Raise your child to be a kind, gentle, honest person. They should understand the importance of maintaining positivity and light, even when the world seems a little dark. They gain confidence through knowing they are a good person who is trying to make the world a better place.
Keep an Open Line of Communication
Lastly, try to keep communication open between you and your children. Don't force them to tell you things, but always let them know they can talk to you about anything, without judgement and ridicule. I find that each of my children are so different and unique. Methods of communication may be different with each child. It may be a chat in the car or over a special parent child date, or perhaps you communicate better through email or messenger. Communication is still communication and if writing is better than speaking, allow this method to unfold and be a bond between the two of you. They need to never feel embarrassed and when you know more about what your kids are going through, it makes it easier to help them find their confidence in areas where it might be lacking.
I have teenagers and so the Quote that we have in our home is: "The Sexiest Thing a Woman can Wear is her Confidence"