Imagine a family of 4 where the youngest member is 3 years old. This 3 year old goes to mom and says, “Mom, can you play with me?” Mom responds, “I need to finish making dinner.” Child goes to Dad and asks, “Daddy, let’s play!” Dad says, “Can’t today. I have a big project due tomorrow.” Dad goes back to his work. Now child goes to his older sibling and asks, “Can you please play with me?” Older sibling says, “I cannot! My essay is due tommorrow which I am working on right now. Please don’t disturb me, I need to think!” Older sibling further closes the door of the room so no one can come to in to disturb him or her.
What message do you think the child is getting?
Small incidents like these occurring on a consistent basis can affect what a child thinks about himself or herself and that in turn can affect his/her self-esteem. In this particular scenario a child may think what they have to do or say is not important.
Fast forward few years later, same child may not speak their mind in a group setting because deep in their subconscious mind they think that what they have to say is not important.
Does any of this sounds familiar?
Children often suffer from yo-yo self-esteem. What this means is sometimes child seem to feel good about themselves and sometimes they don’t. Not every child will interpret the events and experiences the same way.
Kids with high self-esteem have a higher value of themselves and their capabilities than those with lower self-esteem. They naturally have higher self-confidence in their abilities to do things and are more prone to try new things and take risks. They feel worthy, loved, confident, accepted and heard. Even when they make mistakes or face failures they will know how to cope with them and move on.
Good news is self-esteem is a skill that can be taught. Here are some excellent easy tips to help build powerful positive self-esteem and confidence.
- Talk to them about the dangers of comparison – When kids continually assess whether they are “better than” or “less than” others, it creates either low self-esteem if they see themselves as “less than” or can create arrogance and entitlement when they see themselves as “better than”. Parents and educators can discuss why differences are good and we need all different types of people with different gifts to thrive. Particularly when self-esteem is low, we can help them identify their special gifts and honor their uniqueness.
- Teach them to embrace their uniqueness – Teach them to embrace, honor and accept themselves as they are instead of comparing with others. Everyone is unique and are meant to contribute in this world, in their own way. Have them make an “I love me” poster that illustrates what they love about themselves.
- Teach them to believe in their capability – Teach them to not allow events to define who they are. For example: if they fail a test that does not mean they are not smart. It simply means they have room for improvement. It opens the door to brainstorm a plan that will support them to learn the material better. On the other hand, if they do get a good grade, appreciate their efforts instead of defining them by saying something like “You are smart.”
- Positive Self-talk -Teach your child to say positive things to themselves as what they say to themselves is more important that what anyone else says to them. When kids learn to talk to themselves is a positive, loving manner, they will develop powerful self-esteem.
- Create a consistent routine – Create a routine to practice the above things. Family conversations are perfect way to show how that even though at times you as a parent are busy, you care for what your child has to say to you and that your child is an important member of the family. Some other ideas are daily journal, affirmations or anything that will help you stay connected with your family.
Consider enrolling them in a class that teaches these skills. Our online classes for children teaches them these skills through stories, real life scenarios, role plays, etc. The life applications, role plays from our workshop helps child to replace any negative or limiting beliefs with positive and supporting ones. By working with our coach, kids develop an amazing problem solving attitude that they can use on their own. Even Michael Jordan had a coach. Our goal is to increase self-esteem and self-confidence so kids feel capable of facing life’s challenges and don’t give up.