Self Esteem is the way we feel about who we are. Our self-esteem affects how we interact with ourselves and others in all aspects of our lives. It gives us the courage to try new things, makes us proud of who we are inside, and helps our social skills. We want our little ones to grow to be confident in themselves, which is why it is important to start fostering your child’s self-esteem from a very young age!
The 5 Areas of Self-esteem:
When these five areas are supported, our mental health is stronger and we are better able to deal with the rollercoaster of life! Dr Barbara Gablehouse, a health professional and member of our Board of Educators, offers five tips on how you can help encourage positive self-esteem in your child:
1. Praise Your Child’s Efforts 🙌🏽
It’s important to take the focus away from the outcome of a child’s efforts. Instead of praising your child for winning, you can say something like, “I’m so proud of how hard you played in the game.” Even if the team didn’t win, recognize the effort your child contributed.
This will help children recognize that their worth isn’t defined by winning or losing, but by trying hard.
2. Give Opportunities to Learn New Skills 🤹
Learning a new skill teaches confidence! This can be as small as allowing your child to dress themselves, tie their own shoes, or make the bed. It can be as big as learning how to ride a bike!
When learning a new skill, point out the parts that your child managed well and overlook the parts that still need some practice. It doesn’t really matter if their shirt is on backwards or if they put their shoes on the wrong feet… it’s most important to acknowledge the success of trying this on their own!
3. Allow Your Child to Make Mistakes 🧽
Nobody is perfect, especially when learning something new. When your little love makes a mistake, let them know that with practice, repetition, or opportunity, they will improve.
Everyone makes mistakes and it’s important to learn from those flops instead of being discouraged by them. Over time, your little one’s self-esteem will be strong if they have the experience that shows them they can overcome any obstacle in their way… because they’ve done it before!
4. Don’t Overpraise Your Child’s Abilities ✨
Although it’s important to praise children for their hard work, it is possible to take that praise too far. For example, if a child isn’t particularly athletic, it’s not necessary to tell them what a great football player they are. Admire their sportsmanship instead. Or, if your little one isn’t very artistic, you can make positive comments about how colorful their painting is.
If your child thinks that they are the best at everything in the world, it may be more difficult for them to accept failure and setbacks later on in life.
5. Avoid Negating Feelings and Self-deprecating ❌
Negating comments like “See, that wasn’t so hard, was it?” can be harmful to a child, especially if it really was a challenge for them. Acknowledge your child’s feelings and the amount of work they put into a task. Instead, you might say, “I noticed you tried really hard to complete that!”
Children mimic the actions of their parents, so be careful to avoid using self-deprecating comments when you mess up on something. Model good self-esteem and when you make a mistake, it’s okay to be honest. You can say something like, “I think I was in too much of a hurry and I should slow down a bit.”
Let your little one see you as a human who bounces back from errors, you’ll still be a superhero in their eyes!
We all have different strengths, interests, and abilities. If you recognize a particular strength, skill, or aptitude in your child, acknowledge it, nurture it, and give your child plenty of opportunities for that ability to flourish!
Self-Esteem and the Lingokids App 💙
Our curriculum has social-emotional learning opportunities built into the games and activities. When Playlearning™ with the Lingokids app, children practice these important life skills! For more information, download the Lingokids App and check out all the content on our YouTube channels.
Parents, how do you foster positive self-esteem in your child? Let us know by tagging us on social media!