A lack of confidence influences every child at some point in their development. Believing that they can’t do something will prevent them from making the most of their schooling or missing out on vital developmental steps that could have a major impact on their futures. Having confidence means that kids try new things, learn more, ask questions and foster a healthy sense of curiosity. If you’ve noticed that your child is experiencing a bout of low self-esteem, there are ways in which you can help.
Take a little Time
Of course you have a really busy schedule, but taking a little time to spend each day with your child will make them feel important. Even if it’s just ten minutes, give them your undivided attention, make eye contact and ask questions about their lives that show that they are important to you.
Watch your Words
Most parents are tuned into bad behavior. Most of us don’t notice when our kids do or say something right. Focus more on all the things your child does well and compliment them. Reinforce your compliments with a shoulder squeeze, a high five or a touch on the arm.
Make time every week, month and year for memories. Pancake breakfasts, camping trips, family holidays and trips to the beach are the stuff of happy childhoods. Make lasting memories with your children that will bring you closer together as a family.
Give them the Help they Need
Does your child’s teacher know who you are? Check in regularly on your child’s progress, getting monthly updates on what they need help with. Teachers have a unique insight into your child’s progress both academically and socially. When you take an interest in your child, when you are present at school and receptive to advice, you are providing your child with the support they need.
Should your child’s teacher feel like they are falling behind, get a tutor. Of course we don’t like to admit that our children are struggling, but getting them the help they need sooner rather than later will prevent academic issues from affecting their self-esteem.
Opt for an in-home tutor who is able to build their confidence and their study skills so they learn how to be good students and catch up to their classmates.
Ditch Generic Compliments
‘Well done’, ‘good game’ and compliments of this ilk aren’t actually helpful. While they do offer a positive message, they are too general to really have an effect. Instead, reserve your praise for when it’s earned and be specific in your compliments. For example, instead of ‘well played’ say; “I really liked the way you shared the ball. That last pass to Sam was brilliant!”
Love what your Kids Love
Sure, at this stage you may want to kill Elsa from Frozen and you don’t care about this weekend’s football scores, but loving what your kids love is a way to connect with them, and to validate their interests. Listen actively, ask questions and comment enthusiastically. Sure, this means you will have to participate in their interests and hobbies, but it will make them feel valued and important.