It is not uncommon to see parents endlessly praising their children over little victories and accomplishments. It’s natural. Every parent wants to make their child feel special and loved like no other. But it has been mentioned everywhere that over-praising does more harm than good to your child’s self-esteem.
It seems like a hefty responsibility-nurturing your child’s self-esteem. Why wouldn’t it be? A feeling of self-worth lays the basis of your child’s future after all. Self-esteem comes from a sense of belonging, and from knowing the value of one’s contribution to those around us.
Teaching your child resilience and boosting his self-esteem may seem like a difficult job, but once you get the hang of it, it’ll be more so a part of life’s routine than a task. Following are a few ways to bring about the best in your child.
1. Easy With the Praising!
Self-esteem is a building to be formed on the basis of three integral pillars: feeling loved and secure, and from developing competence. Parents often shower their child with the first two, often times with an excess of it. Unfortunately, you can’t praise your child into becoming competent
If you keep telling your child he is the best and the smartest, you are setting an impossible standard of ‘perfect’ for him; and perfect is all he’s going to try to be. Sometimes, a child may start thinking of himself as flawless, which will keep him from pushing himself forward and from trying to better his performance. Keep it simple: Praise, but also leave some space for improvement.
2. Let Your Child Take Healthy Risks
It is but instinct to protect your child, and always keep him safe from harm. Often, parents are over-protective of their children, which get into the way of developing confidence.
Start by forcing yourself to let your kids take healthy risks. Know that confidence comes from taking decisions, failure, taking responsibility of one’s action and learning from the experience.
3. Let The Choice Be Theirs
Making own age-appropriate choices comes with a feeling of power and courage. Let your little girl match her own outfit, and pick out her dress of choice. Kids as young as two can start considering the consequences of their own actions.
Putting the responsibility of the decision on them will make them more authoritative, help them with decision-making skills and help them take accountability for it.
4. Listen Well
If you child has something to say, make sure you give him your full attention. Listen and respond without judgment. That way they will get the feeling that you understand and accept their feelings, and that their feelings are valued.
5. Resist Comparisoons
Resist comparisons such as “why can’t you be more like you sister?” Comparisons like those will only spite your child. Even saying things lie “You’re the best player” does moredamage than good to your child. It sets an image in his mind which is a must for him to live up to.
Appreciate and acknowledge your child in a way that will make him feel loved for the unique individual that he is.
Providing encouragement is not the same as praising. Praising is acknowledging the task;by providing encouragement you are acknowledging the person. Let’s say for example, saying “Well done, you are the best player!” isn’t the same as “good job, tell me more about the game, you liked like you were hustling out there.” This is way better than the former.
7. Set Limits
Teach your child limits, and inform them early on the consequences of forging the set limits. If you tell your child to always wear a helmet while riding his bike, do not let him go without it. In case he does, make sure he is aware of the consequence. Therefore, it isbest to say it like this “if you don’t wear your helmet, you’re not riding the bike.”