Tips on Raising a Confident Child
A special by our Content Manager
agree that building a child's self-esteem is one important way to lay a healthy foundation
for a happy and productive future. But what exactly is self-esteem, and how do you help
your child develop it?
What psychologists call self-esteem is a combination of self-confidence and self-respect. According to leading child development experts, two ingredients are essential to developing self-esteem: freedom and encouragement.
A child who is free to experiment, to fail, and to try again develops asense of her own accomplishments. If a parent gives too much help, the child does not get to "own" that sense of accomplishment. Eventually, she may lose her sense of curiosity and become passive.
When creating a nurturing environment for your children, keep in mind that they are not simply little adults. Children tend to be impulsive and self-centered and to think in simple terms. If you expect them to think or behave like adults, you will be setting them up to fail.
In their guide for parents and teachers, Self-Esteem for Tots to Teens, educators Eugene Anderson, George Redman, and Charlotte Rogers offer these five principles for building self-esteem in children:
1. Listen to and acknowledge your child's thoughts and feelings. By giving your child your full attention when she talks and then paraphrasing herthoughts, you show her that she counts.
2. Create situations that help your child experience
success, not failure.Set clear and appropriate expectations, offer a reasonable amount of
help, provide adequate incentives, and remove obstacles.