So many children grow into adults with low self-esteem, which can mean that they often let other people walk all over them. Or it could also be that they overcompensate by being confident because they’re insecure about themselves and feel as if they need to prove something to other people.
But children who were taught how to build their self-esteem and given support by their families at a young age will know not to trouble themselves with the opinions of strangers. This is because they already know who they are and believe in their abilities despite what other people may think.
You may think that this isn’t worth discussing, but you’ll be surprised at how many parents are the very reasons why their children don’t respect themselves. This is because instead of being their support system, they are the first people to tear their children down. And you wouldn’t want to be that parent.
Understandably, parenthood is no piece of cake. No matter how hard you try to be the perfect parent, you will make mistakes. However, you must know that those mistakes shouldn’t define you. Rather than try to be the perfect parent, you can be a parent who chooses to do better each time. Here’s how you can help your children build their self-esteem:
Be Their Role Model and Lead by Example
Parents influence their children in more ways than one. That’s why you have to embody the very principles you’re trying to teach them because, like it or not, you’re going to be their first role model. This is especially true with young children because they tend to mimic what they see and hear.
If you want your kids to become more confident and develop their self-esteem, you have to show them through application because words alone may not suffice. Imagine that you’re teaching your kids about how not to judge a book by its cover because outside appearances aren’t definitive of whom a person is inside.
You can apply it to a situation closer to home to make it easier for them to digest. For instance, you have alopecia, an autoimmune disease that causes your hair to fall out. Hypothetically speaking, you could wallow in your grief and remain a victim to something that’s out of your control.
However, you can also be more proactive and take back the control you’ve lost. One way to cope with the condition is to receive a scalp micropigmentation procedure, which is a more cost-effective alternative to hair transplants. But you can also own the situation; be who you are without letting your condition define you because it doesn’t define you.
Encourage Independence and Autonomy
If you tend to hover over your kids to protect them from disappointments and failures, you need to stop. This is because helicopter parenting can damage kids’ belief in their own abilities, mainly because their parents keep cushioning them from the blows. But children need those experiences to grow and become more independent.
You have to let your children be their own person because sooner rather than later, they’ll be leaving the nest to create their own lives. And they have to be able to stand on their own two feet because you won’t always be there to save them from falling. So, encourage them to be more independent and autonomous.
A good example of this is by allowing your kids to participate in the decision-making when it concerns them. For instance, since maintaining the household is everyone’s responsibility, you can ask them to volunteer for chores that they are willing to be in charge of instead of just telling them to do this or that.
Offer a Safe Space within Your Home
Lastly, for you to be able to raise confident kids who know their self-worth, you need to give them a safe space to be themselves. This is especially true in the age of social media because kids can access all sorts of content on the Internet, which can also mean being exposed to things that can hurt them.
Aside from the pressures to conform to societal expectations, they may also experience peer pressure at school or doing things they don’t want just to fit in with the crowd. If your children can’t talk about these topics with you because they are afraid of what you’ll say, they’ll find other people to talk to, which are likely their peers.
That means they won’t get the support and guidance they need from a morally sound adult. This is why you need to offer your children a safe space within the household. Rather than being someone who criticizes and judges their every move, you can be their confidante who helps them grow as people.
As a parent, you must help your children build and develop their self-esteem from the get-go. Children who are comfortable in their own skin become braver when trying new things, and they aren’t easily frightened by failures because they know that those hurdles won’t define them.