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How to Develop Your Child's
Self Esteem from an Early Age
There seems to be a lot of media attention focussed towards mental health these days, particularly targeting children and young people.
I think this is great, there is so much awareness out there and so many different strategies available to help children and young people learn how to manage emotions, deal with issues such as bullying and generally improve their mental health.
But, I can't help but notice a lot of the stuff out there is reactionary in nature (and I'm a little guilty of focusing on "solutions to problems" too so I can understand why this is).
So I thought it might be handy to try and promote some proactive strategies that can be used in the home environment to help develop children's self-esteem and their resilience (that doesn't need to be in reaction to a tricky experience or difficulty managing emotions).
Below are 3 of our favourite strategies for developing self-esteem. To access more, make sure you register for an Oh Beehave! membership and then click here.
Let your child help you with things you are doing around the house.
For example, if you are making a cake, let them mix the batter or get the eggs out of the fridge. If you are hanging up the washing, ask them to pass you the pegs as you put the clothes on the line.
Make sure you acknowledge that they have helped and let them know you appreciate their help, by explaining to them how they have contributed.
"Thank you for helping me hang out the washing, it is much quicker when you pass the pegs to me, which means we can get everyone’s clothes dry and ready for them faster."
Making your child feel like their contributions are worth while and help others can help to develop their sense of self-esteem.
Developing rituals with your child can help build your their self-esteem.
For example, your child might choose a story to read with you before bed or you might share something simple like a special saying or handshake with your child.
Think about something that you can create together that you can both understand. This can help your child to develop a sense of belonging, as they feel like they have a connection with someone.
Feeling connected helps boost self-esteem!
Help your child learn how to work out problems for themself (it can be for simple every-day type things)!
For example, when your child approaches you with a problem, ask them if they have thought about how they would solve the problem, then help them brainstorm solutions and (once they have come up with a solution) re-affirm to them
"See, you can work this out!"
Avoid telling them the answer where possible. Guide the conversation with them so that they can work out the solution that will work best for them.
Feeling a sense of achievement over learning how to work through a problem solving process to work things out for themselves can help boost self-esteem.
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