In Egypt, the majority of families have a certain ideology that is inherited by one generation after the other; that is, sheltering children until they reach adulthood and in many instances, get married.
This is an ideology that evokes many societal problems we are facing today. However, the point of this article is not to challenge that broad thought, yet. The point is to serve as a guide to enable your children to develop their self-esteem and grow into healthier individuals, ready for adulthood.
1) GIVE THEM CHOICES
Allow your children to make decisions and learn independence by offering them choices. Things like, would you like to have eggs or beans for breakfast, will teach them how to make a choice and learn not to always depend on parents to decide for them.
2) OFFER SINCERE PRAISE
Be specific in your compliments. For instance, instead of reacting to your child’s math homework with, “Wow, great job; you’re the best student in the world”, try something like, “I really like how you sat quietly and worked hard to finish your homework. It even shows in the progress of your neat handwriting.”
3) LET THEM DO THEIR OWN THING
Be patient and let them figure things out themselves. It may be easier and faster to feed your preschooler, but letting them do it themselves will help them learn new skills. Let them try holding the spoon and be patient if they do it in a wrong way, let them spill on the dining table, and let them have spaghetti sauce all over their face. Children are meant to make a mess. The more they meet challenges, the more competent and confident they will feel.
4) AVOID COMPARISONS
Appreciate your children’s individuality instead of drawing comparisons between them. Again, give them sincere and specific praise. Each child is special in their own way. One of them can be a tech-savvy, while the other can be an artist. Neither one is better than the other; therefore, there is no room for comparison. Appreciate their individual gifts.
Spend one-on-one time with your child to strengthen the bond between you. Schedule some alone time with them at least once a week. You can grab a bite and have a walk around your house, for instance. This is a good opportunity to have a talk about what’s on their mind and offer guidance when needed. —
That said, the main pillar to boost your children’s self-esteem is to love them. This seems obvious; however, surprisingly, the most unaccustomed practice of all. Your child needs to feel accepted and loved. If you do any parenting mistake, it’s okay to say sorry, hug your child, and tell them you love them. Love builds a strong foundation for confidence.
* Changes like moving houses, school, or country, or separation or divorce, might affect your child’s self-esteem. If your family is going through a rough phase, try to keep your family dynamics and child’s activities intact, as well as giving your child lots of unconditional love and assurance.*
Now, why is this important?
Helping your child develop a good self-esteem at a young age has many benefits. Individuals who grow up with a confident upbringing are better able to deal with responsibilities and pressure. They also build resilience and cope well with strong emotions and challenges.