Saturday, September 8, 2012

Building Self-Esteem in Children

Our friends over at DDI Vantage wrote a great article on Self Esteem and we wanted to share it. If you do not know about DDI Vantage they offer many great classes along with services for our community. Check them out on Facebook and there website is

Building Self Esteem in Children

Building a child's self esteem is an important part of helping your child be healthy and happy. Helping your child develop self-esteem starts with understanding what it is.

Self esteem is a combination of self-confidence and self-respect. Self-confidence is defined as proper respect for oneself and one's worth as a person. So it develop self-esteem a child must learn to believe in their abilities and respect themselves.

Developing self-esteem requires freedom and encouragement. A child who is free to experiment, to fail and to try again develops a sense of their own accomplishments. With too much help the child does not get to "own" the sense of accomplishment. Likewise, receiving encouragement lets the child know what they do is important and worth something.

In their guide for parents and teachers, Self-Esteem for Tots to Teens, educators Eugen 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 children your full attention when they talk and then paraphrasing their thoughts, you show that they count.
  2. Create situations that help your children experience success, not failure. Set Clear and appropriate expectations, offer a reasonable amount of help, provide adequate incentives, and remove obstacles.
  3. Give your children a feeling of reasonable control over their life. Having too little control over their environment can make them feel inadequate; having too much control can make them feel neglected and insecure.
  4. Reinforce that your child is lovable and capable. Praise them for what they do, reward their successes and tell them tha you are proud of them.
  5. Show your child that you have a positive view of yourself. Children can "catch" self-esteem from adults. Let your children hear you talk about yourself in positive terms. Let them see you react to circumstance in your life in a positive way.
While using these principles, remember to be careful to balance praise and criticism. A certain amount of praise will reinforce your children's sense of their own success, but too much praise can sound more like pressure than encouragement. Likewise, too much criticism can rob your children of their energy to solve problems.

**thanks DDI Vantage

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