She isn’t the star athlete or the “big woman on campus.” He isn’t the homecoming king or the class valedictorian. But they both feel good about themselves. Congratulations, parents. You’ve given your kids a healthy start on life. You’ve given them the gift of self-esteem. Helping a child develop a strong self-esteem could be one of the most important missions of parenthood. Indeed, healthy self-esteem is an “armor” that can help protect your child against drugs, unhealthy relationships and delinquency.
Here’s some advice to help your child develop self-esteem:
Listen–really listen–to your child. Look at him, restate what he has said and give him feedback. When you can’t take the time to listen, a child feels unimportant, boring and not good enough.
Get enthusiastic about your child’s interests. Give your child unconditional love and acceptance. Make sure they know that, even at times when you don’t like her behavior, you still love her deeply.
Affectionately touch and hug your child often.
Praise your child, but not to excess. Praise lets children know their efforts and talents are appreciated.
Help your child build a spiritual foundation.
Discipline your child. Kids need the physical and emotional protection of rules and limits to develop self-esteem.