Instilling Self-Esteem in Grandchildren

A healthy sense of self worth is vital for success in life. For children having the love and support of the adults in their lives can go a long way toward establishing self-confidence and the lifelong ability to persevere through difficult times. Grandparents can help their grandchildren to develop good self esteem in a number of ways.

Learning to Love and Be Loved

Children get their first view of the world around them from their families. Kids who are surrounded by warm and attentive people are likely to grow up feeling secure which is a great base for healthy self esteem.

Grandparents are commonly brimming with love for their grandchildren, which when openly expressed, makes the kids feel worthy and valuable. Sharing time with grandchildren and letting them know how dear they are assures them that they are well loved.

Grandparents who are generous with hugs, smiles, and praise are sure to be admired in return, which is rewarding for both the grandparents and for the children.

When children reach out in love to their grandparents and are warmly welcomed, they learn to feel safe in expressing their emotions, which is important for healthy emotional development.

Sincere Praise

While it is important for grandparents to offer praise, accolades must be given in a sincere manner to be of value. Children have an innate ability to recognise phoniness, so grandparents must applaud the children’s efforts and accomplishments without going overboard.

Every child is unique and has their own individual strengths and talents, which should be encouraged and allowed to develop.

Talking in Ways that Encourage Self Esteem

While children, especially preteens and teenagers, may look at some of their peers as “having it all,” adults know that every single person has, at times, felt uneasy about their looks, skills, intelligence, or other traits.

Kids need to know that even the most popular kids in their classes have moments of self-doubt and that these feelings are completely normal.

Assuring children that they are bright and beautiful, and encouraging them to find areas in which they excel, will help them to not only accept, but to celebrate their individual gifts.

Often, children see their grandparents as knowledgeable and accomplished. Being in the unique position of being admired allows grandparents the opportunity to talk to their grandchildren about their own experiences with both success and failure throughout their lives.

Kids will benefit from knowing that their grandparents were not always good at everything, and possibly struggled with some of the same difficulties that their grandchildren are currently facing.

Knowing that the people that they respect have had their share of obstacles may help children to understand that even though some things are hard for them, they are no less worthy.

Trying New Things

Effort is every bit as important as success and teaching children that it is okay to fail will allow them to have the confidence to try new things.

Every new experience and endeavour helps children to learn and grow, vital components to true self esteem. Instilling in children the idea that life is an adventure opens them up to a whole world of opportunities for building self-confidence.

Grandparents who are vibrant and excited about the world around them are wonderful examples for grandchildren who will then see that learning is a lifelong process.

Sharing new experiences with grandchildren not only helps to build strong interpersonal bonds, but seeing their grandparents make efforts which are not always successful will reinforce the idea that winning isn’t nearly as important as trying and having fun.

Offering Loving Support

One of the most wonderful things about grandparents is their tendency to simply adore their grandchildren. Even as adults, many of us have fond memories of our grandparents and the ways that they encouraged us.

Grandparents should let their grandchildren know, by their words and by their actions, that they love and value the kids, and always will.

Having your own personal fan club, even if the membership is limited only to your grandparents, is a great thing.

Grandparents who offer kind words of encouragement, sound advice, and a shoulder to cry on when needed are giving their grandchildren the greatest gift of all, one that is sure to build their confidence and self esteem – unconditional love.

See Also
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Explaining a Parents Inability to Care for the Grandchild
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How to Support Your Grandchildren