Self-esteem - how to instill it in a child?

Self-esteem is defined as the totality of beliefs about oneself. It influences self-respect and supports the experience of happiness. Many

Self-esteem - how to instill it in a child?
Self-esteem - how to instill it in a child?

Self-esteem is defined as the totality of beliefs about oneself. It influences self-respect and supports the experience of happiness. Many people confuse them with self-esteem, which should be an objectified view of your strengths and weaknesses, combined with reflection on those areas that I want to change myself.

How to foster a child's self-esteem?

The shaping of self-esteem is influenced by many factors: the way of communicating with the child, appreciating its successes, effort put into actions, praising (which is even an adult's duty towards the child), the feeling that others (especially the closest ones) accept me ) what I am. So what can parents do in their daily relationships to foster their child's self-esteem?

  1. Show unconditional love. Tell your child we love them. Not just for an occasion, but every day. Especially when he does something that we feel is unacceptable, when he "collapses" a case.
  2. Physical proximity is important, it gives the child a sense of security. Of course, closeness in line with the needs of the child. A teenage son or daughter doesn't necessarily want to be hugged, which doesn't mean they don't need closeness. If they take the initiative to hug each other, put their arms around them, let them feel that it is equally important to us.
  3. Initiate good conversations in which we express our interest in the world of the child's experiences. It could be a knock on the child's room asking if we can talk. With the younger ones about fascinating games, books, movies, games, and with the older ones about the news in the world of computers, literary news, movies or other interests or activities of a teenage child.
  4. Talking with the child about difficult behaviors, problematic decisions put on solutions proposed by the child: œWhat is your idea to solve this problem? What are you going to do? How do you see any opportunities in this situation? I can see it's important to you. Have you considered any other solutions? "
  5. Appreciate successes, achievements, even small ones. The form in which we address the child is important here. If we say œGreat! I liked!" - the child hears that it has met the expectations of the parents, so it's good. If, on the other hand, we respond to the same success by saying: œI see that you are satisfied! I guess it gave you great pleasure! Me too!"

Attention! Danger! About destructive thinking about yourself

An attentive parent should be even more vigilant when hears from a child a message such as: "I'm too stupid to learn", "I'm too weak to train", "I'm good for nothing", "Nobody wants to play with me . This way of formulating thoughts proves the shift of the area of ‹‹self-esteem to the area of ‹‹self-esteem and directly hits the self-esteem, strongly destructive to the child.

If we do not engage in dialogue as parents (including teachers), the child will perpetuate a destructive image of himself. This will not only discourage them from making efforts to succeed (because they will stop believing that they can achieve anything), but it can escalate into depressive thought patterns that deprive them of criticism and take away the possibility of finding solutions to difficulties. It may come to a way of thinking in which the child sees himself as someone who hinders the happiness of others ("If I were not there, the parents would be better"), is trapped ("There is nothing I can do"), will not achieve anything ("To I am useless ), his suffering is pointless and endless (œ Everything is pointless. Why should I live? ).

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How to react in such situations? Transfer the message into the area of ‹‹self-assessment: "You are not too stupid, you have trouble with the multiplication table (verb conjugation, equations, transforming formulas, etc.), let's think about what can be done with it", "You are not weak, you need more time to train this skill "," Maybe we will think together how to plan activities so that you can learn it? "," Can you tell me why you think nobody wants to play with you? "," I would like to understand ... ". Constant support of the child in separating self-esteem from self-esteem will result in both better self-esteem ("I can't ... Hmm ... What can I do with it?"), But it will also strengthen the self-esteem ("I don't need to know everything", "Others they also make mistakes "," I can cope with these difficulties "). It will also have a positive impact on the relationship between parents and children, and these can be a strong defense against destructive messages in the teenager's thinking.

Why is it more difficult for children to maintain high self-esteem?

Self-image in younger children is strongly dependent on the feeling that the child meets the expectations of the parents, that the parents are satisfied with it. This is a kind of measure of children's self-esteem and self-esteem. It is good if parents, already at the stage of early childhood, send messages to their children emphasizing that the child is the creator of their successes. This will strengthen their self-esteem, which in the next stages of development will strongly affect the child's self-esteem.

As you grow, your perception of yourself begins to change. Self-esteem is influenced by school successes (and their lack or a number that does not meet the child's expectations), the reactions of parents and teachers to the child's difficulties, pressure on results from the school and / or parents. Young people constantly hear: "Study, because you will not pass until the next grade", "Learn, because your future depends on it", "If you cannot do it, you will not be able to do it in the next grade". And the lack of results or results too low compared to the expectations of others is the result of many factors: the child's developmental abilities (e.g. physiological readiness of the brain to acquire certain skills), developmental disorders (e.g. autism and Asperger's syndrome, Rett syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), emotional problems, home situation (e.g. difficult experiences related to the economic situation of the family, loss of relatives, divorce of parents, the appearance of a younger sibling). The reason for the lack of results may also be that the educational processes are not adapted to the needs and abilities of the child, the relationship with teachers and peers in the class is disturbed, development anxiety and others. By emphasizing the child's agency while praising any successes, we strengthen his sense of value and self-esteem. It is also good to remember that many older children do not separate self-esteem from self-esteem, which can make it difficult for them to achieve mental balance when they fail.

An adult who realizes some deficiencies (experiences failure, disappointment, a sense of failure) has the freedom to deal with this experience on their own terms. Let's say that it turned out that I don't know something (and others next to me know), I don't know something (and others next to me), I can't do something as well as someone else, I made a mistake. If I have a well-formed self-esteem, separated from my self-esteem, I think to myself: "I am a valuable person worthy of respect" (the area of ‹‹self-esteem), "I made a mistake ... I can't ... I don't know ... I don't know anything about it ...", "What I can and what do i want to do with it? " (self-assessment area). I can say to myself: "Others also make mistakes, I will apologize and try to fix it", "I don't need to be good at everything", "I don't have to be good at everything". It is easier for adults than for children, so let's support children in building high self-esteem and self-confidence, remembering that successes or lack of them do not translate into a child's self-esteem.