“I can’t do it.” “I’m stupid.” “I’ll never be able to do it.” Do any of these statements sound familiar? Maybe your child isn’t that verbal yet, but seems down or doesn’t want to try anything new. Low self-esteem can get the brightest, happiest child down in the dumps. As a mom, you are your little one’s number one cheerleader. You can help build your child’s self-esteem and make sure she grows up with a positive, go get ‘em attitude.
As your little one’s cheerleader, it’s your job to praise accomplishments as well as setbacks. If they build a tower with their blocks, tell them, “Great job! You built that tower so tall!” At the same time, if their tower collapses before they were done and they get upset, you can still say, “Wow! That tower was so tall! Mommy will help you make it even taller next time.” Keep the encouragement realistic, though. Don’t promise them they’ll be able to do something “next time,” if it’s a skill that might take some time.
Love and affection make children feel like they’re worthy without even using words. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t say “I love you,” but give hugs, cuddles and other physical encouragement as well. Even when children behave in a disappointing way, make sure they know you still love them.
Set goals for your children and help them achieve the goals. As they work toward the goal and eventually achieve it, offer praise and encouragement. Achieving the goal shows them they are capable and builds their self-esteem. Keep the goals age appropriate, such as getting dressed by themselves, potty training or tying their shoes.
Listen to Feelings
Encourage your little ones to talk to you about how they’re feeling whether they’re excited or upset. If a friend hurts their feelings, ask them what happened and how they feel about it. Then, offer a suggestion or explanation if there is one. Offer compliments or reminders of things they do well to help them feel better.
Validate Their Personality
Accept who your children are and don’t try to change them or put them in situations where they aren’t comfortable. If your child is shy, accept that and realize that he might not like big groups. If your little one is an extrovert, realize that even if you don’t like large groups, he might thrive in that situation.
Remember children are their own unique person. Don’t compare them to other siblings or friends. Make an effort to find your little one’s strong points rather than compare.
Spend time with your little ones. Playing with your children makes them feel like they are worth your time. Let your children choose when to play together and what to play. This also helps them feel important because it shows mommy wants to do what they’re doing.
Give your little ones age-appropriate responsibilities at home so they feel like they’re contributing to the family. Let them help with dusting, sorting laundry or vacuuming if they’re big enough to handle that job.
Safe Home Environment
Keep a safe, loving environment at home. Try not to argue with your spouse or others in front of the kids. A volatile home environment keeps kids from feeling safe and secure.
Keep your self-esteem up, be confident in your parenting and keep a positive attitude. Remember your little ones watch everything you do.