An individual’s self-esteem can often be extremely fragile depending on a variety of different variables. Keeping your child’s self esteem in tact, however, does not need to be as difficult as you might believe if you keep the following suggestions in mind.
Remember that you are your child’s biggest leader, role-model, and example. If you have underlying or unaddressed issues with your own self-esteem or self-image, then consider enrolling yourself in some personal counseling to better understand and improve on these issues.
Try to focus on promoting your child’s unique strengths, talents, and passions, rather than placing so much emphasis on external validation and appearances. Teach your child to value him or herself through internal and self-motivated validation. Too much of a dependence on external validation will often result in later issues with co-dependency in interpersonal relationships as these individuals seek to fill voids within themselves through the approval of others.
In some cases, children as young as three might suffer from low self-esteem from their environmental influencers. If you recognize signs of low self-esteem or shyness in your children, you should sit down with them and ask them to explain what they are feeling to you. Listen with an open mind and hone in on key phrases and words that he or she may use to describe themselves and their self-perceptions. If these phrases or words are negative, help them to find more positive areas to focus on. Identifying their self-concepts and discussing their subsequent effects will help both you and your child understand areas of his or her perceptions or esteem that need improvement.
Overall, the best tip to help you keep your child’s self esteem in tact is to lead by example. If you are confident, happy, and generally balanced, your child will likely follow suit and develop the same self-confidence and esteem.