Developing your child’s self-esteem… Important things to think about.

A healthy self-esteem is the safeguard for your child against the challenges of the world. Children who have a positive self-esteem have a much easier time dealing with daily conflicts and the negative pressures that come from school, play, other children and adults.

Self-esteem starts at infancy and continues to develop in a positive or negative way throughout your child’s life. Helping your child grow up surrounded by encouragement and realistic goals is crucial to them feeling good about themselves. Impressions on self-esteem start very early in life.

Parents that are actively involved with their children help them to form an accurate and healthy perception of themselves. This is one of the reasons why preschool is so important. A good preschool teacher can be invaluable in helping children establish a positive image of themselves during play and during other activities in the classroom and on the playground. Parents should continually ask for input from the preschool teacher regarding how well the child is doing in the area of self-esteem development. Don’t be afraid to regularly ask the preschool teacher for an assessments and advice.

Self-esteem will fluctuate as kids grow older and are involved in different activities at school and in after school and sports activities. Sports activities, including soccer, T-ball, basketball and other entry level sports can have a tremendous impact on a child’s self-esteem. Make sure that your child has a positive and encouraging coach. Remember it’s your child and what happens out on the field can be a life-changing experience for a child. Don’t be afraid to get involved. Children with healthy self-esteem tend to enjoy interacting with other children and adults. They are more comfortable in social settings and enjoy group activities. It is important for parents to encourage this.

Three important things that you may want to focus on:

1) Give positive yet accurate feedback to your child. don’t tell them they are the best on the team, if they’re not, but share with them that they’re getting better and improving all the time.

2) Create a safe, loving home environment where your children can express themselves and get positive constructive feedback.

3) Encourage cooperation rather than competition as children learn to play with others and develop a positive self-esteem.

There’s nothing more important than a child growing up feeling good about themselves and able to deal with all the challenges the world presents. Devoting time and attention to a child’s development early on is essential.