Improving self-esteem - top tips for parents

Parenting NI

Promoting self-esteem in your child is incredibly important. Staying positive and being generous with encouragement and praise are two of the most important steps any adult can take to help promote a child’s self-esteem.

Lead by example

Remember you are a role model; children take their lead from how those around them act. Parents’ actions give children their strongest guide for their own behaviour. Bearing that in mind, try to avoid criticising yourself in front of your children and encourage them to express themselves by talking to you about feelings.

Praise effort rather than outcomes 

It’s important that children build resilience to deal positively with disappointment. If children are to feel good about what they are doing they need to be able to recognise that the effort they put in is equally as valuable as the outcome.

Give children individual attention

Show your children affection and be interested in them as individuals. When children feel that their parents notice them it helps them develop positive self-belief that they are important individually.

It’s OK to make mistakes

Treat mistakes as learning opportunities. Reassure your child that it is ok to make mistakes and let them experience the consequences of their choices. Learning from mistakes enables us all to recognise what to do differently the next time.

Acknowledge success

Sometimes it’s hard for children to acknowledge the things they are good at and instead they may focus on the things they can’t do. Praise your child’s achievements and tell them you are proud of them. Don’t spend time focusing on areas where they haven’t done so well and encourage them to keep doing what they can do well.

Discover and develop social skills and talents

Help your children develop their social skills and talents through attending clubs, groups and activities. Encourage them to use creativity to express themselves. It’s important that you encourage your child to engage with others and take part in activities to develop new interests and stretch their ability.

Useful resources

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