QCC's Children's School Blog - Self Esteem

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Parent Question:

We are parents to a 4 year old girl and a 2 year old boy, sometimes we hear our daughter say things like “I’m so dumb.” Or “I can’t do anything right.” This concerns us, we want our children to have a good sense of self-esteem. What can we do to promote a healthy self-esteem in our children?

Educators Response:

What a great question for our blog! Let me start off by giving a simple definition of self-esteem. Self-esteem is feeling good about yourself and liking who you are. When children have good self-esteem they are more likely to try new things, take healthy risks and solve problems. Providing a strong base for future learning and development.

How do children get good self-esteem? It comes from knowing they are loved and cared for by a family and community that respects and values them and spending quality time with their family. By being encouraged to try new things, finding things that they are good at and being praised for things that are important to them! Most significantly by being told that they are loved for no reason other than to show you appreciate them.

How can we help nurture our children’s self-esteem…?

  • Giving them a sense of security – about themselves and their future
  • A sense of belonging- Children need to feel accepted and loved by others, beginning with their families. Extending out to friends, clubs, classroom, church or temple giving them a type of group identity.
  • A sense of purpose – a way to channel their energy towards self-expression and personal achievements. (When praising your children be as specific as you can. Praise them what they have tried and done instead of a generic “Good job.” This will give them pride in what they did for themselves instead of doing it for you or to get a good job.)
  • Personal competence and a sense of pride – Children need to feel confident in their ability to meet daily challenges. This comes from have success in solving problems independently, from being creative and seeing results from their efforts. This is where we as parents need to be intentional in our expectations. If we are too over protective our children may become dependent on us. If our expectations are too high they may feel that they aren’t capable of succeeding.
  • A sense of responsibility and trust - Give your child a chance to show how capable they are in taking on a task without being checked on constantly. Keep promises, follow through and be supportive.
  • A sense of accepting mistakes and failures – Explain that mistakes and failures are hurdles that are a typical part of learning. Give supportive and constructive feedback; recognize their efforts giving them motivation to try again.

Lastly your children’s self-esteem comes from within the family, influenced greatly by the feelings the family has for itself. Show acceptance, respect, trust and most importantly LOVE!!