6 Ways to Raise a Child with High Self-Esteem

As a parent, you probably have a few a lot of things you worry about when it comes to raising your child. Parents put a lot of pressure on themselves to be the best person for their child, to teach them the ways of the world, and to make them feel confident in their abilities. One of the big things parents worry about is their child’s self-confidence.

To help, here is a list of a few tips on how to foster your child’s self-esteem—check them out!

Start Young

One of the most important tips I can give you to foster self-esteem is the timing. Trying to raise a child’s self-confidence as a teenager doesn’t work nearly as well as starting when they’re a toddler. Pay attention to how you talk to your children at a young age. They’ll take it all in, so make sure you follow these tips from the beginning. It’s amazing what they comprehend before they can speak it back to you!

Help Them Learn Things

Another one of my favorite tips on how to foster your child’s self-esteem comes from learning new things. At every age, your child learns something new. As babies, they’ll learn to take their first steps. As toddlers, they’ll put that first string of words together.

As they continue to grow, they’ll face new challenges and learn from them. Do your part—help them approach and learn these new things. Teach them to find joy in learning and appreciate their own growth.

Don’t Offer Insincere Praise

A mistake many parents make isn’t necessarily not offering praise, but it’s they don’t offer sincere praise. It seems scary, but it’s quite simple—if you don’t truly feel it, don’t say it. Find a different way to say what you feel sincere about.

Kids can detect insincere praise, so be specific in your compliments. For example, if your two-year-old draws something, instead of saying “You’re the best artist in the world,” say something like, “I love how you paired those colors together and included the whole family.” Show appreciation for their process, not just the end result.

This can feel hard at first, but the more you practice it, the easier it will come. What has helped me, is noticing what had been a challenge for Owen even a few months before, that no longer is, and commenting on that aspect of what he is doing.

Focus on a Growth Mindset

We hear about a Growth Mindset as adults, but what about your kid(s)? A lot of children, as they grow, end up having a fixed mindset; essentially, they think their abilities are set and can’t change. Do your best to help your child reframe their negative thoughts and statements to more of a growth mindset.

Though they can’t read that book now—for example—work to change their statement to how they can’t read that book yet. Show them they can change and adapt. Talking about how “someday” they’ll be doing XYZ is exciting to them, and can help them work on whatever skills they can at the time.

Encourage Their Interests

Your child’s interests can help them feel more confident in their abilities. Finding activities your kids enjoy provides one of the best ways to give your kids something to turn to when they feel down. No matter the age, if you help your children explore their interests, it can help them learn how to improve their mood themselves.

Get them started in these things early. If your toddler loves to make noise, help them pick up an instrument. If they love to run, get them involved in a sport. When they are struggling with a task – as many young kids often do – ask them to show you something you know they are good at or excited about, and come back to the original task when they are re-engaged.

Use Genuine Affirmations

A final tip is about the words we say to our children. Words of affirmation offer a brilliant way to foster your child’s self-esteem, so make sure to start early. They show support, positivity, and love; when you start young, you show your child that you care for them no matter what. The more they hear these things, the sooner they’ll believe them.

Teach your child to be their own cheerleader with specific affirmations they can use themselves. My favorite is, “I can do hard things”.

Self-esteem is tricky. It comes from within, so you can’t exactly talk your kids into having solid self-esteem. By supporting them and teaching them to support themselves from babyhood, and modeling your own self-esteem, you’re well on your way!

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