Naturally children are shy and timid, especially if they encounter new situations or events and are being introduced to new acquaintances. At times, we cannot force them to present and introduce themselves because they would find it very awkward. They would only distance from what is important. This article will explore and introduce some helpful tips to make children become more open and to develop self-esteem.
Self-Esteem in Children
Erick Erickson indicated that children usually develop self-esteem between the ages of 1 and 3. This is the ‘toddler years’, as the specialists call it, and they are also beginning to develop their skills by doing things on their own. Whenever they accomplish something like picking up their toys and returning them in the box, we always give them a positive comment like “good job!” or “well done!”. This is where they feel encouraged to do more good things and allow their self-confidence to develop.
Ways to Increase Self-Esteem
Allow children to decide for themselves. Before you disagree with this point, please be advised that we are referring to a reasonable set of options pre-selected by you as parents. Examples for this would be asking them to select their own clothes to wear, what breakfast item would they like to eat, etc. This manner of presenting choices will empower them and the little freedom you provide will enhance their self-esteem.
Perfection is not always good. It’s important for parents to inculcate in their children that it’s acceptable to commit mistakes and errors. Children will feel that they are accepted as they are and there will be no pressure to accomplish tasks and being worried that they will be reprimanded in the end.
Start them young in doing work. This is not to enslave or subject the child to abuse by giving them household chores. Assign age-appropriate tasks or chores and instruct the value of getting it done appropriately. The feeling of confidence and being competent when the task is done is developed in the child, thus enhancing his self-esteem. Moreover, this is a life-learning experience that will reflect the child’s work ethics in the future.
Avoid labelling. We love to call our children “princess”, or “my sweet boy”. That’s alright and acceptable. What is not appropriate is to call them with negative names or speaking to them sarcastically. This will certainly create an impact on how they view themselves.
Take a break. As parents, it understandable that we sometimes lose our grounds and get angry. Take a break for a while. Get out of the room and breath in deeply. Why? Because you may say things that you might regret later. The negative words that we say to our children will be buried in their subconscious minds and will affect their self-esteem in the future.
Never compare with other kids or siblings. Don’t attempt to say “why can’t you be like your brother?” or “Mary is faster in finishing her homework than you.” These are derogatory remarks and can lower down their self-esteem. What you can do is appreciate your child’s uniqueness and abilities.
Building your child’s self-esteem starts from the home. Parents are the initial ‘attitude formers’, henceforth, it is our responsibility as parents to develop it while they are young. Making sure that children have a positive self-esteem, they will be able to handle anything when they are already outside the home environment. This is very beneficial in their everyday life dealings and experiences.