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Raising Your Children: The Importance of Self-Esteem

 

There are many aspects to raising your children. One of these aspects is fostering a healthy level of self-esteem in your child.  All children have their own pictures of themselves in their minds shaped largely by how they are raised and by what they hear from the significant people in their lives, especially their parents. Parents need to remember that a child does not come equipped with his or her own self-image when born; this self-image is instilled and learned through the various experiences starting from birth.

Self-esteem is related to self-image, how one views oneself. This judgment about self-worth plays a very important role in a child's growth and development. Studies show that children who have high self-esteem are more productive, adventurous and self-assured. These types of kids are less likely to be affected by peer pressure or frustrations. They will deal with their shortcomings in a more level-headed manner as well.  Those with low self-esteem on the other hand will have more difficulties and will constantly look for reassurance in everything they do.

Here are a few tips on how to raise your child's self-confidence and help him or her build a healthy self-image.

Self-acceptance

Make it known to your child that you appreciate yourself, your strengths and your accomplishments. Your child will mirror you and if your level of confidence is high and you are always positive, the environment you will create for your child will cradle confidence and creativity.

Respect Unique Qualities

You and your child are not identical. It does not mean that since you are the parent, your child will have the same talents as yours. Every child has a different kind of talent and this talent may come with different needs. You should embrace your child's uniqueness and nurture his or her talent. Doing this for your child is one of the greatest gifts you can give and when your child grows up, this gift will be much more appreciated. Support their interests.

Never Compare

Do not compare your child to other children. Do not compare siblings as well. Love your kids with all their shortcomings and keep in mind that your children are not the same. Be mindful of using unintentionally derogatory or negative phrases or words when refering to your child.

Keep Expectations Realistic

You should have realistic expectations. Very high expectations can lead to negativity because children may then feel that they have to be perfect for them to be loved - which should not be the case.

Applaud Effort

 If you see that your children are doing their best, make sure that he or she knows you recognize this effort. For example, if your child does not make it to the soccer team, tell your child that you are still very happy that he or she did his best.

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