Developing your child’s self-esteem in their early years is one of the best gifts you can give them as a parent. Self-esteem is how we value ourselves as individuals. According to a 2020 study, self-esteem also plays an important role in the development of depression in adolescents—a child who displays symptoms of thinking poorly of themselves may have a greater chance of developing mental health conditions. In contrast, a child with higher self-esteem is more likely to take on challenges, exhibit prosocial behaviour, and be happier overall. Want to gift these outcomes to your child? Here are four ways you can build their self-esteem.

Make time for your kids

Parents are children’s first teachers in many subjects—including how children value themselves. While juggling several priorities is a stressful fact of every parent’s life, we note in our article on practising self-care with your kids, you must prioritise family time in your schedule. Doing so not only models for your children that they can carve out time for the things they love—it also shows them that they are worth making time for. Even during the busy seasons of your life, you can designate specific times to do routine chores or bedtime rituals with your kids. Whatever time you can spare will make a difference to their self-esteem in the long run.

Help them create passion projects

As your kids grow up, they’ll develop their own interests. Motivating them to take steps towards what they like doing—be it science experiments, drawing, or playing the piccolo—is an essential factor in building self-esteem. A concrete way to do that is to challenge and help them create a concrete showcase of their skills. Such fun activities for kids can range from developing an app to redesigning their room, and can aid them in learning how far they can go when they put in the work and realise their passions. Let your child enact passion projects to build both their self-esteem and skills they’re enthusiastic about.

Encourage a growth mindset

Projects and plans don’t always work out in life, and preparing your children for that assists them in attaining resilient self-esteem. To do that, help them understand the difference between a fixed and a growth mindset, then construct practises favouring the latter. Having a fixed mindset means believing that your skill level is set as it is. Cultivating a growth mindset, however, means believing that your talents can evolve through dedication and hard work. Explain to them how people aren’t just born with talent—they procure it through exertion and perseverance when they fail. On your part, make sure you praise effort and celebrate when your child strives for something beyond their skill level, regardless of the outcome. Doing so helps them develop self-esteem that is steadfast even in the face of failure.

Let them play with their pets

If you’ve been thinking about getting a pet, here’s a fun fact: a furry friend’s a great source of self-esteem. Researchers find that children who actively play with their dogs have lower peer and conduct problems, higher prosocial behaviours, and positive social-emotional development. All of these are significant aspects of creating healthy self-esteem for your child. To leverage your pet for this purpose, ensure your kid has ample time to walk and play with them. The benefits of that recreation will be positively long-lasting when it comes to building their self-esteem.

Building your kid’s self-esteem is crucial in forming them to be happy and healthy individuals. Use the strategies above to help your child grow up confident and self-assured.

Article written by Rae Ellis Jane

Exclusively for Positive Thinking Clinic

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