As a parent, it’s your job to ensure your child has a healthy self-esteem. A self-assured child is less likely to cave to peer pressure, is more capable of successfully resolving conflict, and is less likely to be depressed. These tips will help your children gain the confidence they need to face everyday challenges.
- Embrace adversity – Let your child know that there’s no need to be afraid of challenging situations; everyone stumbles sometimes. Even if they don’t excel, praise their courage for trying something new and different.
- Get social – Make sure your child has the opportunity to interact with other kids and adults. Learning from others’ experiences allows them to empathize and relate to situations they may not understand—both in their homes and in the world at large.
- Be a positive role model – Confidence is catchy. If you show your child that you can be confident in any situation, chances are good that some of your exuberance will wear off on them.
- Dispel negative thoughts – Children often compare themselves to everyone around them. If your child constantly makes negative comments (e.g., about their looks, academic abilities, athletic skills, etc.) about him or herself, take the time to reassure them. Highlight their strengths and teach them about self-love and inner beauty.
- Display affection – Children need to know they are loved. Drop a cute note into a lunch bag, or give them a quick squeeze before they run out the door. The smallest gestures can leave lasting impressions.
Remember: don’t build your child’s self-esteem at the expense of other people. Real confidence requires a positive self-image and a healthy dose of humility.