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How can I help my child’s self-esteem?

Building Your Child’s Self-Esteem

By: Tiana Mathes, BS Home-Based Regional Coordinator

Building your child's self esteem

What can we do as parents to promote and build our children’s self-esteem?

Think healthy!

Everyone wants to have a protective armor for their children. I like to think of this protective armor as healthy and positive self-esteem. As a parent I find myself, daily, thinking of creative ways to express to my children their self-worth in hopes that, within our home, I am creating a strong armor for them as there will be hurdles in life that will be faced. We can only protect them from so many things and for so long. A favorite resource of mine is “The five Love Languages of Children” by Gary Chapman, PH.D and Ross Campbell, M.D. These New York Times bestselling authors provide assessment tools for children. The assessment tool in this book provides information on direction and outcomes in speaking the five Love Languages of children listed below. I feel that these five Love Languages are key in daily life with our children in building and boosting self-esteem for the long run.

  1. Physical touch – hugging, giving kisses, etc. Know when and what type of physical touch is needed. Example: tucking our children in at night before bed is so crucial. Growing up, both my parents each night would tuck us all in. Positive words would be exchanged with a hug, a kiss, and a “sweet dreams”.
  2. Words of Affirmation – encouragement, complimenting often.
  3. Quality Time – making time to engage in any activity with them. One of our personal favorites is “coloring” which tends to be a nice coping skill to use after a stressful day for your child and yourself. Read more on why children need an active father in their lives.
  4. Gifts – not just material items. If we are always gifting our children with material items, when will that gift become special for them? Will they always expect it if we continue to do this? I believe so. We want to teach our children that a job well done does not always mean a material gift will be given. This gift could be one of the above, such as a hug or a complement.  
  5. Acts of service – being your child’s role model. Being a parent is the hardest job and greatest gift of all! Our children mimic our behavior. If we are having a bad day and our children see how we respond to the situation, even if they do not know the situation, are they likely to respond in that way as well? The answer in my opinion is YES! The best act we can do is express ourselves in the most positive way. It may be difficult but we can do it. Children look up to us, learn from us, heal from us and learn to LOVE from us.

We want to maintain a good balance for our children daily. You don’t have to have a college education to speak the language of your children. All they want is to be loved. If they are being loved, they will love and know how to accept love. Parents, love your children, compliment beyond giving a “job well done.” Go into detail on that “job well done”. What did you notice about what they did that was so positive? Was it their time, or was it their effort? Was it simply encouraging someone else? Was it coloring in the lines and taking their time? Whatever it maybe be, share their excitement and yours with them. A little dance party – perhaps.

Encourage your children to set goals. Goals give them, and us as parents, something in which to look forward. The process in which goals are achieved can be a learning experience for both you and your children. Stay with them, set goals for yourself as well. This will only encourage them more.

Let’s validate our children’s feelings. Let’s be proud of our children. Let’s talk positively about our children and never compare them to others. Finally, it’s very important that while we are encouraging our children’s self-esteem we also need to tend to our own self-esteem.

Do you want to be a better? Contact us to learn more about Family Coaching to learn how you can support your children and help them grow into successful adults.