Are you looking for ways to increase your child’s sense of self-worth? Do you want to ensure that your child grows up to be a confident and happy adult? Have you started looking at different parenting techniques that will help you achieve just that? If you have a child at home, or are pregnant and want to know how you can be a better parent by promoting self-esteem in your child, we suggest you continue reading.
The parenting methods that you adopt will have a profound impact on your child’s personality. How you treat your child and how you conduct yourself in front of her also has a lot to do with developing your child’s personality. As a parent, you always try to make sure that your child is safe, healthy and happy. What you should also aim for is to make her feel confident about herself and be sure of her strength and capabilities. It is important for you to remember each child has a different personality.
What may work for one child may not always work for another. If you try out a certain parenting technique but feel it is not helping your child in any way, we suggest you give it a break for some time and try another method instead. Here are a few ways on how to build self-esteem in children that can help you immensely –
Be a skin-to-skin parent: One of the biggest ways you can help to develop child self- esteem is by continuing the bond of skin-to-skin love.
* Being a skin-to-skin parent means that you will have to show your love and appreciation to your child in ways that involve more than just words.
* You may think that just nodding your head in approval or telling her you are proud of her is enough. While it is surely a good thing to do, but you should also go the extra mile to express your love for your child in the form of hugs, kisses, and pats.
* Shower your child with lots of hugs and kisses.
* Always take out time for family.
* The amount of skin-to-skin bonding you do with your child tends to lessen with age. Try and keep up some amount of skin-to-skin bonding and attachment with your child. It could be a hug, a kiss on the cheek, putting your child to sleep, holding her hand as you walk, keeping your arm around her shoulder as you watch a movie, etc.
Be responsive parent: While you are looking at helping your child develop self-esteem, make sure you practice being a responsive parent.
* As a responsive parent, you have to take care of your child’s needs as and when they arise.
* Some children have a higher emotional need than others, and it can be difficult for you always to respond accordingly. Remember that parents unintentionally often reprimand or neglect children who are more emotionally needy. So be more alert and attentive to the emotional needs of your sensitive child.
* Make sure you listen to your child and take appropriate steps. Your child may demand more of your time and attention, which can be difficult if you lead a hectic lifestyle. Try and rearrange your work schedule.
* Ask your partner to help with chores, so you both can spend time with your child.
Be self-confident yourself: You are the biggest idol and example for your child, so make sure you practice what you want to teach.
* Your child will gradually learn all about self-esteem, by observing your conduct. You can effectively teach her how to remain confident irrespective of the challenges you face.
Show your child how to maintain the fine difference between being self-confident and being overconfident.
* Be confident in your every day dealing with others, especially in front of your child.
Be your child’s positive mirror: Everything that your child believes in will first come to her from you.
* As a parent, you will be your child’s exact mirror – the one from who she will learn so much about herself. Her feelings, as well as your reaction to and appreciation of what she does, will influence the way she sees herself.
* Make sure that you constantly give her positive feedback about how she is doing and what she should change or focus on improving. In many ways, the way you discipline your child and the different boundaries you set at home are also a way of enforcing this mirror parenting technique.
* Talk to your child about what she does or does not do. If she has done something that you would not approve of, let her know so. If she has done something that makes you immensely happy and proud, make sure you tell her and others about it, especially in front of her. Let her know when you think she gets overly emotional and instead should try to be more realistic. Talk to her when she gets too quiet and stops sharing things with you. Let her know when she should feel good about herself instead of being unduly critical. Show her that even though she may not be able to be perfect in everything right now, she should never stop giving her best. Last but not the least, tell her that no matter what, you will always love her for what she is.
Make your child your priority: As a parent, you have a million things to take care of, but prioritizing your child’s emotional needs is something you need to practice at all times.
* While you are with your child, make sure you give her your undivided attention. Of course, there are times when you will be busy, and there will be many things that demand your time. Plan well and adjust your schedule.
* Tell your child that even though you may not always be present with her physically, you are always thinking of her. It will make her feel loved and slowly she will understand and appreciate the various responsibilities you shoulder.
* Leave everything aside when you are with your child.
* Make time to have meals together as a family.
* Plan a day in the week when you do some fun things with her.
Your child’s self-esteem will depend a lot on the way you treat her and how you teach her to face the world. Teach her the importance of believing in herself. Repeatedly tell her that you are always there to help, understand, love and support her unconditionally. These five simple tips will be enough to work wonders on your child’s personality and make her more confident.
The writer is an online activist & contributor at