Early experiences in childhood play a vital role in building a child’s self-esteem. The onus to boost your child’s self-esteem lies on the parents, followed by other family members, friends, and teachers.
“My toddler is too shy to say hello to strangers.” “He is too naughty, pushing the limits and testing my patience.” “Although she is fearless at home, she just doesn’t open her mouth at school.” “He is stubborn, doesn’t wear the clothes I select for him.” “She doesn’t let me comb her hair and looks shabby and unkempt.” “Mummy, the teacher, put me out of class today because I am a rough boy, she said.”
Experiences, good and bad, contribute to shaping different individuals. Some kids are sensitive and shy, while some are bold and boisterous.
Let us factor in some important points and how we can exercise our discrimination to help improve the mental well-being of children.
Early childhood experiences impact self-esteem
Since a child is not mature enough to apply reason, many circumstances affect their self-confidence and self-worth. Unstable families, broken relationships, and narcissistic parenting adversely influence a child, whereas positive parenting approaches instill in them self-love, which grows with age and boosts your child’s self-esteem.
Examples of early childhood unpleasant experiences and methods to avoid them
Say No to Body-Shaming – As is commonly seen, grown-ups label children as too thin, dark, hairy, skinny, fat etc., which influences their self-image. Don’t say things in jest or even lightly. In fact, such remarks go a long way in negatively impacting your child’s self-esteem. Accept your baby as they are. Remember every child is unique and adorable.
Labelled stubborn – Although every parent wants their child to be a determined achiever, they exercise complete control and demand implicit obedience. You cannot have the cake and eat it too! It’s okay to let your child play for just five more minutes at the park or finish the episode of the cartoon they are watching and then come to you.
Comparison between children – This is a disaster in the making! Just as every flower carries its own unique fragrance. Similarly, every child is different and unique in their way. Accept your child with all their differences.
Disciplining techniques – Harsh disciplining methods may leave behind unpleasant memories. Remember to praise good behavior and intervene during unacceptable behavior without labelling the child as bad. Don’t yell at and spank a child. That is to say, no child deserves a parent’s unnecessary unkind behavior. If you feel the need, instead, speak to a counsellor or therapist in managing any issues regarding the child.
Working with the school teachers to boost your child’s self-esteem
The world of schooling is different compared to the secure environment of the home. Your kindergartener is stepping out of the cocoon and is now on their first steps to explore the wide world. As parents, ensure the teacher understands the child’s psyche and is open to discussion when needed. Many youngsters are shy and may take more time to bloom. Some children require more softness, and there is no reason to deny them. Ensure the school is in concurrence with gentle methods of parenting and teaching. Additionally, guide your child that they are going to have new experiences and they must share with you how they feel.
The influence of media on self-esteem can be a concern
People pass fleeting comments about looking like a celebrity or drawing comparisons. This is unhealthy as it can create pressure in the minds of the young ones to seem like or behave like celebrities. Why should a child look like a film actor or a model? Preserve their individuality and love them as they are, so they appreciate themselves in the future. This is critical to boost your child’s self-esteem.
Health and fitness
A healthy and fit personality is a morale booster. Eating healthy food, taking enough rest, and exercising are essential in building an identity exhibiting strength and confidence. Being in a positive frame of mind will automatically boost your child’s self-esteem. Create opportunities for your toddler to feel positive about themselves. Join yoga classes, dance classes, and parent-child combos where physical fitness is catered to. Great for you too!
In conclusion, parents are the biggest cheerleaders of their children. In other words, children will always look up to you for support in different ways. Therefore, putting these efforts to boost your child’s self-esteem goes a long way in developing an individual with an independent, determined and powerful personality. A child with unpleasant experiences may grow up to be an adult with low self-esteem.
The secret mantra is to fill your child’s day with minor triumphs and successes and chide their shortcomings with love and patience.
Be proud of your children and believe in them. Your opinion about them today will determine their opinion about themselves tomorrow.
Also read: Tips To Raise A Confident Kid