Developing Self Esteem

Children of all ages require self esteem to feel good about themselves, their world, and the contributions they can make to it. In order to achieve a goal, children must believe that they have the talents to realise their ambitions. More important than achievement, self esteem is also crucial to children’s happiness. Only when they are comfortable with themselves and believe that their abilities have worth will children truly feel fulfilled. Unfortunately, self esteem can often be in short supply throughout childhood and the teenage years. At some time, nearly every child or teen will suffer from low self esteem. While this is normally a transitory experience, low self esteem can also be a plague that feels like it will never go away. Promoting self esteem among children and teens is thus of the utmost importance to ensure that they will feel talented, happy and loved.

Spotting Self Esteem in Children and Teens

Children and teenagers with low self esteem will display a variety of traits, including:

  • Being easily influenced by advertising or others.
  • Avoiding new challenges for fear of failure.
  • Becoming frustrated easily by setbacks.
  • Blaming others when activities are unsuccessful.
  • Disbelieving that (s)he has any talents or special abilities.
  • Feeling unloved.

Children and teenagers with a high level of self esteem and strong feelings of self worth will also display stereotypical traits, such as:

  • Welcoming new challenges.
  • Tolerating frustration.
  • Taking responsibility for unsuccessful ventures.
  • Recognising and sharing his/her talents and special abilities.
  • Feeling loved, and loving others in return.

Promoting Self Esteem Among Children and Teens

Promoting self esteem among children and teenagers is an incredibly important, and very easy, habit for parents to fall into. Staying positive and being generous with praise are two of the most important steps any adult can take to help promote a youngster’s self esteem.

  • Be loving with your child, giving hugs and kisses regardless of achievements.
  • Help your child set realistic, attainable goals.
  • Praise your child for the effort, not for the outcome.
  • Avoid criticising your child’s performance at a given task, and instead praise his/her enthusiasm or imagination.
  • Encourage your child to engage in activities due to interest, not ability.
  • Do not tolerate self criticism from your child. Help him/her focus on positive points.
  • Lead by example. Do not criticise yourself in front of your children.
  • Foster a caring environment at home by dispelling sibling rivalry.

While many children develop self esteem as they grow, for some children self esteem must be nurtured and tended. Parents are at the front line of promoting children’s self esteem, and while often their opinion is enough to make even the littlest chest swell with pride, some children may require more intense therapy. If needed, finding a family or child counsellor in your area may be the difference between a happy, healthy child and a depressed, downtrodden child. If you are worried about your child’s self esteem then don’t delay, begin your journey to a better life today!


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