Simple Tips For Boosting A Child's Self Esteem
With a little effort, and the right knowledge, it is possible to help a child boost his self esteem and grow up into a confident individual.
The first, and perhaps the most powerful, solution is actually far more simple than one might think. Positive reinforcement. It isn't as crazy as it might sound, and research suggests that it does work quite well. How do you apply this to your child, though? It's simple. Try not to criticize them unnecessarily, and when you do need to criticize them, do so gently and with a positive spin. For example, when your child gets a bad grade on their homework. Every parent wants to see their child succeed, and the gut reaction is to tell them that they need to do better, but for a child with a negative self image, even this small critique can have a large impact. Instead, reiterate to your child how important their education is, tell them that you know how intelligent they are, and find out if there is anything they are struggling with. Try to make the criticism sound positive, even if it isn't.
Another way to boost a child's confidence is to set high expectations for your child, and let them know that you have them. Now, this might seem like a bad idea, and granted it is possible to over-pressure your child to succeed, but that is easily avoided. Set your expectations at reasonable levels, and this will eliminate the issue. Expect them to be able to do their homework with little help, expect them to get good grades, expect them to be able to make their own bed. Studies show that when you expect more out of a child, they can pick up on this, and they will naturally do better. This will, in turn, generate a more positive attitude about themselves when they begin to succeed.
The issue of body image is huge part of self esteem, and with media showing kids that beauty has a specific definition, it can be difficult for some children. If your child has body image issues, there are a few things you, as a parent, can do to alter that image. For starters, tell your child how beautiful/handsome they are every chance you get. Never criticize their appearance, even in a joking manner. Never speak negatively about the way they look, no matter the situation. Another thing you can do, which works better with children old enough to read, is to leave them notes. In their backpack, in their lunchbox, in their folders, in their room. Leave them little notes telling them they're beautiful, or how special they are, or how much you love them. These little notes might not seem to do much good at first, but after a while your child will begin to believe these positive things about themselves, and you'll see a dramatic improvement.
Children are wonderful, unique little creatures. It is a shame to see a child lose confidence in themselves, especially as a parent. But with a little effort, and the right knowledge, it is possible to improve the situation and help your child grow into an emotionally stable and confident individual.
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