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I think that all of us want our kids to grow up confident and happy. Although some kids may seem to naturally be more self-assured, I feel that parents have a lot to do with achieving this desirable trait.
I was wondering how to promote positive self-esteem in children. Do you have any advice?
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I just read a really great book about self esteem called Kid Confidence. It talks a lot about letting children think less about what others think of them and self-judgement. Instead, to embrace the skills (all levels) they have and focus less on comparing themselves to others. I thought it was really interesting and worth a read.
There is definitely an element of personality as well as environmental supports to foster self esteem in young people. There is a significant role in parents and adults assisting kids to take risks and allowing children to feel safe enough to do so with success. There also needs to be specific praise for taking risks and achieving tasks but this can't be overdone or be too general. So a fine balance with adults modelling how to be good to themselves and noticing when their children are having a go at something that can be difficult for them and supporting them through it. As already mentioned, some children will need more support than others in developing a good self-esteem over time.
I agree with you that parents can help children build the skills required to become more confident which in turn usually promotes their self-esteem. I also think that a child's personality can have quite a bit effect on how easy it is to boost self-esteem. A shy, reserved child may struggle with their confidence, while a boisterous, outgoing child might seem to have confidence in spades.
As a parent, I think that one of the best ways to boost your child's self-esteem is by teaching them to do things for themselves. A child who has learned how to master a skill by doing it themselves (rather than just observing) will be more confident about doing that task in the future. Offering praise for a job well done is important and it's important to praise perseverance, but at the same time that praise should be earned to remain meaningful. Remind your kids that everyone has different strengths and that there is no shame in not being the "best" in everything. As a family you can celebrate the small wins and remain a safe place where your child can be themselves by providing gentle and consistent parenting and discipline to nurture their confident spirit.