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How to raise your child's self-esteem

BUILDING your child's self-esteem is one of the most important thing you can do as a parent. When you start with these positive changes, it will stick with your child for their entire life.

The early childhood years are critical in the formation of self-esteem. During these first years, children form impressions of their capabilities and self-worth based on their successes and the feedback they receive.

Independence - In order to develop a healthy self-esteem, a child needs to learn how to do things on her own. Parents can help a child accomplish difficult tasks, set challenging, yet realistic goals and offer encouragement to meet those goals.

As a child grows, parents should step back to let her solve problems and complete tasks on her own.

A child will have many chances to learn how to be independent and competent as she grows. Parents should allow as much freedom as possible, and only step in when the child is getting overly frustrated.

Special Gifts - A healthy self-esteem will flourish as a child develops his own special gifts. To build confidence and self-esteem, a school-aged child can be given chores and allowed to participate in the age-appropriate activities that spark her interest.

Chores allow a child to contribute to the home and family in a positive way. Activities that are challenging, but doable, give a child a sense of pride and a chance to set achievable goals.

The self-esteem of peer-oriented children will always be dependent on the way others perceive them. A positive self-esteem means that children and teens consider themselves to be valuable even when they are being judged by others.

Challenges - Children with a strong sense of self-worth are able to take on challenges, believe in their ability to succeed, and see setbacks as temporary situations to be overcomed. Children with poor self-image are easily discouraged, lack the initiative to begin daunting tasks, and see obstacles as defeating and permanent.

Praise and Encouragement - Self-esteem begins with a child's earliest memories. The things you say and do to your children will have a huge impact on them for the rest of their lives. Children thrive on praise. You can never "spoil" a child with praise. You should always offer praise to your child for a job well done. No feat or activity is too small for praise and encouragement. Your child needs to know that you are there always, that you love him and that you believe in him.

This will help him build confidence that he needs later in life, for everything that he tries to do.

Criticism - Criticism should always be constructive and you should remind your children of their positive traits and abilities, and of how much you love them even when you have to scold or correct them. Encouragement will go a long way to help raise your child's self esteem. Encouragement can make a shy kid come out of his shell and try something new.

Ongoing Development - Fostering and building a child's self-esteem is an ongoing job for a parent. One that begins at birth and continues through childhood and into adulthood. A child with healthy self-esteem will have confidence in himself and his abilities.

Compiled by 1Klassifieds Team
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