Self-esteem is an orientation towards oneself; this orientation may be positive or negative. In another word, self-esteem refers to the way an individual feels about him/herself. There are two major components of self-esteem; the sense of personal worth and sense of personal ability. These two important components develop over time with multiple experiences. Children who are motivated develop high self-esteem while children who are not motivated develop low self-esteem. Low self-esteem has been associated with many social and personal issues which include; school failure, violence, depression, anxiety, drug abuse, and in general difficulty in dealing with life.
It is imperative for parents to understand how to develop and maintain their children’s self-esteem. Development of positive self-esteem helps a child to make the necessary adjustment about their self-worth and competence. Parent role is to help children in developing the skills they require to feel capable when they are faced with life’s many challenges. The role of parents is to teach children to respect individuals and to avoid being influenced by peers’ pressure or the masses.
Self-esteem is affected by many factors but the most important factor is the family. The most important task of parenthood is parent helping their children to develop strong positive self-esteem. A parent is the most influential person when it comes to how a child feels about him/herself–her self-esteem. A parent is a mirror of who the child is.
In general, the more positive the parents’ self-esteem is, the more positive the children self-esteem will be. Children usually watch and copy how their parents react to their successes, failures, and mishaps. It is important for parents to build positive responses and strategies for dealing with these experiences. Parents must be a good role model to children. Start by building your own self-esteem and it will reflect in the life of your children.
The first thing is to take responsibility for your personal self-esteem. Your child will watch you and imitate you. Show your children that they can have control over how they feel and think of themselves.
Show your child that she is valued and loved. Parents’ opinions are the most important opinions to most children throughout their lives. Focus on your child positive qualities, encourage and nurture these qualities.
Accept your child for who he or she is. When you as a parent accept the good and the bad of your child, you are teaching your child to accept him/herself completely. This is important in building positive self-esteem.
As a parent you must be able to:
- Recognize the unique abilities and talents of your child
- Develop, nurture and help your child in recognizing these talents.
Don’t compare your child with other children. There will always be a child who is better than your child and there will always be many children your child is better than. Always encourage your child to do more but stop comparing them with other kids.
Help your child to develop an interest in the activity that will allow her to compete easily in life with the reasonable amount of success. Teach her to feel proud of her accomplishment and not feel defeated when faced with life challenges.
Mutual respect – when a child is treated with respect, the child will develop a high self-esteem. Treat your child as an intelligent individual that is able to understand and reach good conclusions. Everyone wants to be treated with respect and children are no different. A child that is not respected will suffer the lack of confidence. Mutual respect will increase the trust and confidence a child has.
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