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Ways To Raise Self Esteem

Jan 19, 2008
What is self esteem? According to Dr Keith Levick (2002), self esteem is our personal belief system that defines our world. It affects every aspect of our lives: how we feel about ourselves and others; how confident we feel; how negative or positive we are.

Healthy self esteem

A child with healthy self esteem will act independently, take on responsibility, face frustration, learn from mistakes, express his emotion in a safe way, be confident and relaxed.

Low self esteem

On the contrary, a child with low self esteem will be dependent, easily frustrated and influenced by others, complaining, blame others and may exhibit emotional problems. Labelling and comparing children with others will low the self esteem of the children.

How to develop healthy self esteem

1. Give Attention

Children measure love in term of T-I-M-E. When you spend time with them with attention, they feel loved. It helps to build self esteem of the children. You can play with your children e.g. kicking football, role playing game, playing toys with them together. They will not remember the toys you bought to them when they were young. However, they will remember the important moment with you while you are doing something with them together and the way you are interacting with them.

2. Affirmation

Affirm the child's good characters and behaviour e.g. responsible, caring, obedient and so on. For instance, a father praised the child's effort to put the shoes in the shoe rack. He said, "You are very orderly because you tidy up the shoes."

Before we go to sleep, my husband and I go to the bedside of each child and tell them how important and wonderful they are and affirm their good characters and behaviour. It helps to build the bond with the children and enhance their self-esteem.

3. Unconditional Love

Parents give unconditional love to their children. They are totally accepting their children as who they are. Parent s can accept their strengths and weaknesses. On one hand, parents can encourage them to develop the good character quality. On the other hand, parents need to point out to their children what kind of behaviour and attitude that is not right and how to improve it. Parents need to assure their children that they love them disregard of their behaviour and motivate them to improve their behaviour and attitude. With unconditional love as the basis, it helps the children to improve their self esteem.

Parents involvement is very important in the development of their children. They give constant effort and time to affirm their children, they help their children to feel loved and secured. Thus, they will feel good about themselves and raise their self esteem.
About the Author
Ms Mak Wai Chong, a mother of 3 children, is a freelance trainer and counsellor. She has worked as social worker and counsellor for 17 years. Visit her website at WiseParents.net for prenatal training and parenting information and FREE newsletters.
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