For children self-esteem is naturally high. Building self-esteem begins at birth and is reinforced by good or bad childhood experiences.
And, in addition, even though parents and teachers may think they are being supportive of a child, it’s the child’s perception that contributes to his self-esteem.
In other words, if a child simply thinks a parent is being critical, he will feel bad about himself and will have low self esteem.
Having a poor self image doesn’t mean that a child is worthless. And it does NOT mean that parents have failed. It just means that the child believes that he is not important.
The Attachment Theory
An English physician, John Bowlby, created what we call the attachment theory. The attachment theory suggests that parents and care-givers are important for self esteem building in a child.
When a parent is close both emotionally and physically, a child is able to explore his world, feeling safe. If the child becomes frightened, hurt, tired or sick, the parent is there to help him. This feeling of safeness and acceptance helps in building self esteem in children.
As children mature, and parents continue to support them, a child’s self-esteem is sculpted. Just like with adults, self esteem for children is based largely on what the children believe others think of them.
Children and Caregiver Relationships
There are 3 main types of parent or care-giver relationships that have been identified for developing children self esteem. They are Secure, Avoidant and Ambivalent.
- Secure relationships – Children with high self-esteem have secure relationships with caregivers. Parents who are warm, sensitive and attentive to their children bring up children with a good self-esteem. Children whose parents and care-givers are sensitive and positive to their needs are found to have a higher self esteem, and are more confident and self-directed.
- Avoidant relationships – Parents who are constantly annoyed, brusque, cold and insensitive. Children whose parents or care-givers are cold and negative have difficulty developing peer friendships, have low self-esteem and are troublesome, often putting themselves down.
- Ambivalent relationships – A parent or care-giver who is positive, but inconsistent in their responses can also damage a child’s self esteem.
Tips for Developing
Self-Esteem in Children
Here are some tips for building self esteem in children. These simple self esteem building techniques will help you support a high self esteem in your child:
- Love and care about your child – this gives them a sense of belong, security and support.
- Spend time with your child – Children learn by example. Play games, read, talk, teach your child about his world.
- Clear discipline – Gently reinforce the limits. Praise the good things your child does.
- Respect your child – Teach your child respect by respecting them. Children learn by watching. Apologize when you are wrong, and use manners such as please and thank you.
- Active Listening – Listen with your eyes and your ears when you child speaks. Giving her your attention tells her that she is important and helps to build self esteem.
- Be realistic – We’re all human and make mistakes. Don’t expect perfection from your child. This puts a lot of pressure on him.
- Decision making – Help your child make her own decisions by showing her the pros and cons. Don’t make speeches or force your opinion on your child.
Building self esteem in children is an ongoing process. However, it’s really quite easy.
When a child feels that he is OK, he feels safe and comfortable when exploring his world.
And as he learns about his world, he is building self confidence and improving self esteem. That’s all there is to developing self esteem in children!
Children self esteem is developed by everyday experiences and just feeling loved and safe.
If your child suffers from low self esteem, the Hypnosis Downloads hypnosis program for kids is a fun program with stories that might be just what you need to help your child boost his self esteem.