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Counselors Corner

Maud Forsberg-Davis

School Counselor
Morris Early Childhood

Developing self-esteem in your child:

People with high self-esteem appear calm and relaxed, even when under pressure.  They seem energetic and purposeful; enthusiastic about almost everything they do, positive and optimistic about the future, and stand up for themselves and others.
Now what can you as a parent do, to help your child improve on their self-image?

Improve it through language:

Talk to someone about your child’s positive qualities as you introduce your child to them. Make a point of mentioning a recent success or a particular talent or quality.
Talk to your child  at the end of the day about the positive things that took place during the day. Try to see the positive things in the day, even if there were some negative things taking place.
Do not ask the same question every day  – “How was school today?” Instead try to alter your questions to encourage your child to talk positively about their day – “What was the best thing about today?” Try to be specific – “What was the PBS assembly about today?” It will show that you have been listening to what they have said previously.
Praise your child doing something right. When things go well, make a point of acknowledging how pleased you are. Use these positive times as a reminder for when there is a setback with a negative experience.
Avoid comments which reinforce a negatives self-image.  If you say to your child “you are always so un-organized” they will think that you expect them to be like this and will live up to that expectation.
A sense of self-worth and high self-esteem cannot be acquired over night. It takes many positive comments and a lot of successes to reach this state. Parents are a child’s biggest contributor to how they develop and see themselves. As a constant role model, you can influence your child’s thinking by being positive yourself and having high expectations of yourself.

Suggestions for increasing a child’s self-esteem:

  • Listen carefully whenever your child wants to you
  • Show that you are fascinated by your child’s abilities and development
  • Actively plan periods of quality time with your child
  • Praise and reward your child for small as well as major achievements
  • Ask for your child’s help in a variety of areas
  • Say ”I’m sorry”
  • Say “I don’t know” rather than pretending to know all the answers
  • Stand back and allow your child to takes risks and make mistakes