- Family and Parenting
Simple Ways to Improve Your Child's Self Esteem
Simple Ways to Improve Your Child's Self Esteem
Self esteem affects every aspect of our lives, and there are very simple things a parent can do to effortlessly increase their child's self esteem and confidence.
Self Esteem - The Core of How We Live
The way in which a child is treated and spoken to programs subconscious beliefs deep into his psyche, and every decision and choice he makes throughout his life (not only as a child, but as an adult), the way in which he behaves, the way he responds to others and to situations... absolutely everything is colored by the core beliefs he has about himself.
This is the case, of course, with all of us. As adults, our actions are determined by our core beliefs. And our beliefs were programmed by our experiences. As parents, we have the power to program our children and to affect the life they'll have as adults.
Here are a few very simple ways you can change who your child becomes as an adult - to make sure he has the very best shot at his full potential to enjoy success in all aspects of life.
#1 Find Your Smile
Make sure your eyes light up when your child enters the room.
We have a tendency to not smile at the people we see all the time - especially our children. It's a habit that sneaks up on us without our realizing it.
By smiling warmly at your child whenever you see him, you are literally changing who he is!
Of course, this is something that takes no extra time or effort. It's the simplest, easiest - and most powerful step you can take to improve your child's self esteem!
It's Not About Now....
Although of course, it's nice for your child to have you smile at them now, it's not about how he feels now, or even tomorrow... it's about the programming. It's about the changes it will make to his life in ways you'll never know.
When you smile at your child, the message being programmed into his subconscious is that he is special, lovable, worthy, deserving.... and you can see how beliefs like this will lead him to make choices and decisions that are beneficial in all areas of his life - including relationships, health, career and finances.
If your eyes light up when your child enters the room, you are programming him with the belief that he lights up a room .... and he will therefore become a person who lights up a room.
Imagine how much he can achieve in life with that trait. :)
Most Important - And Worth Repeating...
If your eyes light up when your child enters the room, you are programming him with the belief that he lights up a room ....
... and he will therefore become a person who lights up a room.
Imagine how much he can achieve in life with that trait. :)
BoostKids: Teaching Your Kids Life's Most Important Lessons
This is an excellent resource - and one which I think each parent should be issued with before the birth of their first child! Great insight from this author, based on his own personal experience with his three children, combined with input from child psychologists, educators and child development experts. When his eldest son was 12 years old, he started researching ways in which to help the child out of his shyness, and to increase his confidence and sense of who he is.
The book is written in a warm, easy to follow style, with common sense, practical tools and techniques which help parents help their children to form true friendships, people skills - and of course, confidence, self esteem and self worth. All of this is aimed at enabling the adult your child will become, to succeed in business and long-term career, as well as personal relationships. Highly recommended!
#2 The Power of Listening
Listen With Both Ears
Our lives are so busy, and we can't always give our children the attention we'd like to give them.
But when we look at how the attention we give him now will affect the adult he becomes, we might find ourselves re-prioritizing a little here and there. ;)
All of us want to be listened to. Really listened to. In the case of a child, apart from the benefit in the moment, of someone listening to him, again we're looking at the effect on the future. When a child is being listened to, the beliefs being programmed into him are that he is worth being heard, he's interesting, and he has a right to speak.... which equals self worth, self value and self esteem.
Those beliefs will not only increase his self esteem and confidence now, during his childhood, they will ensure his success as an adult. He will naturally have confidence in speaking with others, in social and business situations, and it will even make a difference to his ability to make presentations and engage in public speaking.
It's Worth It
Considering the fact that it can change the adult your child becomes, it's worth interrupting the vacuuming for 10 minutes to look him in the eyes - and listen, fully focused, to what he has to say. Again, it's not about listening in the moment, it's about the belief that is being programmed into him through this. The belief that by-passes the conscious mind and is embedded directly into the subconscious - the belief that he is interesting, worth listening to, worthy, valuable... and because of that belief, he will become an interesting, confident person. It's definitely worth taking the time out. ;)
There are times when you can't just stop what you're doing, and of course, it's also important that your child learns that although he is valued and interesting, you can't always drop everything to listen to him. However, it's vital to acknowledge him, and pay him the respect any of us would like - of explaining you can't listen right now, but you'll be able to pay attention after ____ or in ____ minutes. And then it's very important to honor that.
"One of the greatest gifts you can give someone is the gift of attention."
- Jim Rohn
#3 The Connection Between Sleep and Self Esteem
Help Him Get Enough Sleep
I know this seems unrelated, but sleep is a major contributor to self esteem... or the lack of it.
Here's how sleep can affect your child's self esteem:
If a child is not getting enough sleep, he can't function at his full potential. Neither his brain nor his body is able to perform effectively, resulting in:
* An inability to focus and concentrate in lessons... leading to behavior problems and an inability to retain information... leading to a belief (in others as well as himself) that he is "naughty", "disruptive", "incapable", "doesn't concentrate".... and so on. Naturally these are beliefs that will lower his sense of self worth, and his self esteem.
* A reluctance to take part in physical activities.
If his brain and body haven't had enough sleep, he will have less energy and will be clumsier than when he has had sufficient sleep.
This will lead to a reluctance to take part in sport and other physical activities, and when he does take part he will not be able to achieve the level he could - leading to a lack of confidence in himself and his ability... along with a belief that he is not good at sport.
Added to this of course, is the fact that others will judge him and he could be teased, or picked last for teams ... And no-one will think "Ah, it's just cause he hasn't had enough sleep."... They will automatically believe it's because he doesn't have the ability... and of course, so will he!
* One of the results of insufficient sleep is irritability.
Again, this is not recognized, so the child is labeled as difficult or "can't be a team player" or "can't work with others", when it's highly likely that if the child was performing in peak condition - sufficient sleep and nutrition - he would very easily work with others and be a great team player.
But children will live up to the labels they're given, and so, he will adopt the belief that he's not a team player and doesn't work well with others... and he will become that person. Aggression is another result of sleep deprivation that will lead to a child being mis-labeled, and so becoming something he's really not.
In contrast, a child who is getting sufficient sleep is starting each day fresh, with all his wits about him, his energy topped up, and his brain and body able to comply with what he needs to achieve.
He's able to concentrate, focus, comprehend better, absorb information more efficiently, follow instructions more effectively, and of course take part in physical activities with more enthusiasm and confidence.
It's not difficult to see how the child who is getting enough sleep is bound to have healthier self esteem and confidence than the child who is not.
For more information on how sleep affects children, and how to overcome bedtime challenges to help your child get more sleep, visit this Squidoo page:
#4 Food for Thought... and for Self Esteem
Make Sure He's Getting Good Nutrition
Again, as is the case with sleep, what and when a child eats may seem to have no link to his self esteem, but when you consider the following, you'll see the connection:
A child who is not getting the nutrients he needs is unable to perform at his best.
Lack of proper nutrition can result in irritability, an inability to concentrate, clumsiness, lack of focus... and much more. And, as with lack of sleep, others will seldom realize the child is pretty much "running on empty" as far as fuel for his brain and body go, they will see him as "naughty", "disruptive", "clumsy", "difficult"..... and so on.
When a child starts the day with a balanced breakfast, he is going to be going to school with the full ability to achieve what is expected of him. A child who is going to school on no breakfast, or mainly sugar and simple carbs is at a disadvantage before he even arrives. His brain and body are struggling to run on empty. It's like trying to drive 100 miles on a teaspoon of fuel... the goal is not going to be achieved - not through any fault of the car, it's just that it doesn't have the fuel it needs.
Naturally, attempting to go through a day (especially a school day) without the proper nutrition for the brain and body to work efficiently is going to affect the child's self esteem.
Added to this, if a child eats healthily he'll have more energy, will be more likely to be physically active, and will be less likely to have weight problems... all of which have an effect on self esteem.
Being Me: A Kid's Guide to Boosting Confidence and Self-esteem
"Being Me" is a great book for helping parents give their children specific tools for increasing self confidence and self esteem. It's written in a conversational style, and focuses on practical ways to help children feel better about themselves.
I believe that the four steps above are the most effective long-term and permanent ways of ensuring high self esteem and confidence, but for those who'd like to give their child extra tools and information, this book - aimed at 8 - 13 year olds - is an excellent choice.
This little book has been written with younger children in mind. It's a great tool for emphasizing how special each child is, and not only why it's good to be yourself, but how to be yourself. A wonderfully positive and inspiring tool for parents of young children who have self esteem and self confidence issues.
Things That Have the Most Powerful Effect on a Child's Self Esteem
Vote for what you think is the most important contributor to a child's self esteem - add any that you feel should be added and aren't already included.
In a Nutshell...
There you have four simple ways to improve your child's self esteem. If you're able to put all four into practice, you will see the most magical transformation in your child. But even if you're only able to introduce one. Just one. You will see a difference. :)
Each one of these tips is extremely powerful in itself, and can change your child's future.
For more tips on how to put these into practice, there are a few resources throughout this page, and please feel free to ask for tips and suggestions regarding specific challenges in the comments section below.
Further Resources I Recommend for Improving Your Child's Self Esteem
These are three excellent books which support parents in improving their child's self esteem.
There is one issue in the first book - it has a section which takes an old-fashioned view on homosexuality, and is therefore not useful for that particular topic. However, the rest of the information in this book is so good that unless you're looking for information and advice specifically on homosexuality, you can just skip that bit, and focus on the rest of the content.