At The Blue Elephant, we want to make every aspect of parenting easier for you, and one of the big things we handle in our classrooms is children’s self esteem. We see self-esteem manifest itself in both children’s academic achievement and social development: when a child has the right level of self-esteem, they’re confident enough to trust themselves both in learning and in making friends. That’s why for this blog, we’re going to give a few tips for how to build self-esteem in your child.
Self-esteem is a very similar concept to self-worth. It has two main components – feeling capable and feeling loved. Strong self-esteem depends on the right level of each – both a child who feels highly competent but unloved and a child who feels loved but incapable can have low self-esteem. While some children can have too high of a level of self-esteem, lower self-esteem is a much more common problem. Thankfully, there are some easy things you can do at home to help your child build their self-confidence and self-esteem:
Descriptive Praise: Praise is one of the most powerful tools we have for building self-esteem, both in our children and those around us. While some may favor a discipline-oriented parenting style, at The Blue Elephant, we are firm believers in positive reinforcement. So when you notice your child doing something you approve of, don’t hesitate to let them know! Actively look for situations where your child is doing a good job and tell them what you like about their behavior. If they complete a chore, tell them that you appreciate the effort they put into it and the good job they did completing it. If you see them displaying a positive character trait, tell them what you appreciate in their behavior. You can even praise your child for something they didn’t do – for example, accepting a “no” from you without losing their temper.
Positive Self-Talk: While it may seem a little crazy, the truth is, we all talk to ourselves – and that talk can help to determine our level of self-esteem. What we think often determines what we feel and how we behave. Thankfully, though, you can use this process to reshape children’s images of themself for the better. If you feel your child has low self-esteem, teach them to be positive in how they “talk to themselves.” For example, if they’re having trouble with a problem, teach them to say to themselves “I can get through this, I just need to keep trying.” When confronting a new challenge, teach them to tell themselves “I can conquer this if I try hard enough for long enough.” Positively reframing self-talk can improve self-esteem while helping to curtail depression and anxiety in the future.
Have more questions about your child or our program? We’re always happy to help! Feel free to call us at (469) 287-0332, reach out to us at our contact page, or join the Blue Elephant family. We can’t wait to hear from you, and we look forward to helping your child excel both in and outside the classroom!