Self esteem is a very crucial aspect of our child’s personality. It is his defence against the harsh realities of the world. His protective armour against the challenges that he needs to face. Mums and dads, I am sure that you would agree with me when I say that kids who are high on self esteem are better achievers. They handle pressure and negativity more effectively. They have a happy and optimistic approach towards life.
In direct contrast are kids whose self esteem is low. They are generally pessimistic, with a negative outlook. They are overly anxious, even in the face of the most trivial of setbacks. They tend to have a ‘defeatist’ attitude. They feel they are incapable of accomplishing any goal, whatsoever. Sad, but true!
The concept of self esteem starts to grow right from the early childhood years. So we need to try and enhance it in our children from the very beginning. Let us try and figure out how we can help our child increase his feelings of self worth (read ‘esteem’):
Always encourage and appreciate your child’s efforts. Never try and judge him on a single task. Look at the bigger picture always.
Encourage your child to try new things; it can be a sport or a hobby. For instance, if your child shows the faintest interest in art, try to arrange art classes for him. If he shows interest in theatre, enrol him in drama classes. These are miraculous with regard to our child’s overall personal as well as interpersonal development.
Be his pillar of support, always. In case of setbacks, instead of feeling low and unworthy, help your child to view it as a learning experience. For instance, not being able to qualify for that inter school football match is not the end of the world. It just means that a little more hard work and perseverance will help him to sail through, the next time. Demonstrate stress free behaviour in the presence of your child, even when things look difficulty. Remember, your child is watching you
Always be precise and positive with your feedback. Please try and acknowledge his feelings. If he seems upset about something and reacts a little adversely, try not to get angry. Instead, help him to realise that his reaction was uncalled for. Assist him to identify a better response. For e.g. in case he gets into a verbal argument with his friend, do not ignore it. Ask him how he could have responded differently and positively. Appreciate and reward his appropriate responses.
Try to create a secure atmosphere at home. Let his home be his ‘safe house’. Make his immediate environment happy and peaceful. Be loving and caring towards your partner. Let your child feel the love around him and let it be unconditional.
Our children need to grow up into responsible individuals. They need to be proud of their strengths and willing to work on their areas of improvement. They need to realise that they are extremely important for us. Be empathetic towards them, they are unique in their own special ways and they are OURS.