When we have high self-esteem, we have confidence in ourselves and our own skills. However, when it is weak, we do not believe in ourselves and we lack respect for ourselves and others. Lack of self-confidence is also manifested in the inability to enjoy success, underestimation of someone's achievements, low resistance to disease, fear of change, frustration in a relationship, chronic anxiety, depression and aggression. Do we want our children to be like that?
Healthy self-esteem - why is it so important?
Good, healthy self-esteem is one of the basic values that we can pass on to a child. It allows for a happy, productive life, even in difficult times. It is a powerful weapon of the child against challenges and failures, a refuge that guarantees that despite unfavorable conditions, we have something that will allow us to get out of trouble with a defensive hand. Healthy self-esteem helps you manage stress better, reduces anxiety and frustration.
Building faith in your own strength begins in the family. The way we think about ourselves today is firmly rooted in how our parents perceived us and how they let us look at ourselves when we were little. Childhood self-esteem is very persistent and difficult to change. Is an important foundation of personality.
The belief about yourself and the world arises in the family. It is the parent who instills a sense of worth in the child. It is the parent who should help develop them.
How to strengthen healthy self-esteem in a child?
- Love (accept) your child even when he is behaving badly. Show that you do not tolerate his bad behavior, but you love it yourself and nothing will change it. Be able to distinguish a child person from a behavior and let the child feel the difference. Show your faith in the good of the child, the belief that it is good and valuable.
- Praise the child for the effort made in the activity, and not for the effect itself: even if something goes wrong, say that the most important thing is that he worked so hard and tried hard. Let the child feel helpless, emphasize that it will not last long.
- Be a good example - avoid excessive self-criticism and "self-pity" in the presence of children.
- From a young age, show your child responsibilities. Show that you trust in its possibilities. At the beginning, perform the duties together until you are sure that the child is doing well and can take over 100% of the activity.
- Give your child a lot of love, spend time together. This is the easiest way to make them feel loved and safe.
- Let me make a decision. Let the child decide for himself in appropriate situations. Let him learn how to control his surroundings and himself.
- Smart praise. Try to notice the child's good behavior and emphasize it in such a way that the child names his / her strengths.
- Watch what you say: instead of saying "I'm proud of you," rather say "you have to be proud of yourself." A slight difference? And yet ... In this way you teach a child to build his own sense of value in himself and not look for his confirmation in other people. It's a simple way to shift the accent from 'we' to 'you'.
- Tell your child "I love you" often.
- Make a border that will allow your child to feel safe in a changing and often unpredictable world.
Building your own value in subsequent stages of life
- 0-18 months - building relationships. Parents build a sense of value by showing boundless love, ensuring child safety and appropriate care. If a child does not receive what it needs so much at this stage, it will grow in a sense that it does not deserve love and is of little importance, which results in a lack of self-esteem.
- 18 months - 3 years - is the stage of discovering the world. The parent should help the child in a prudent way, support them in discovering the surroundings, encouraging them to experiment, i.e. to have fun. If the parent disrupts this process, the child will be timid, withdrawn, will be convinced that the world is hostile and you should distance yourself from it. The result is a feeling that you will not meet the demands of the world and a lack of self-esteem.
- 3-4 years - identity building - at this stage, the child builds an internal belief in himself. If the parent constantly criticizes the child, is dissatisfied, the toddler grows up in the belief that he is unsuitable for anything, withdraws, begins to manipulate, gives up taking new actions.
- 4-7 years - competence building. The child experiments and checks the effects of his actions. It tests its strength and its limits. If the child is supported, not overly controlled and evaluated, this test will positively affect his self-esteem.
A healthy sense of value is not built in one day or month. It is a continuous process that takes place before our eyes and which has a colossal impact on the future of our child.