A report published in 2015 revealed that children’s self-esteem is already established by the time they’re just five years old. While we often assume that our turbulent school years play a significant role in determining our self-confidence, the authors of the study say their research suggests that:
“Self-esteem, feeling good or bad about yourself, is fundamental. It’s a social mindset children bring to school with them, not something they develop in school.”
You can read more about the report and it’s findings by following this link: https://www.washington.edu/news/2015/11/02/childrens-self-esteem-already-established-by-age-5-new-study-finds/
The report highlights the importance of building self-esteem in children from a very young age and below we share how you can help build self-confidence in your child.
Don’t over-praise them
When our children are learning how to do things, we naturally want to praise them as much as possible to give them the encouragement they need. Jim Taylor, author of the book ‘Your Kids Are Listening: Nine Messages They Need to Hear from You,” warns that over-praising can actually do more harm than good however.
He says that by constantly praising our kids, we’re lowering the bar for them. If we keep telling them that they’re already doing a fantastic job, you’re saying they no longer need to push themselves. Confidence does in fact come from doing, trying and failing and then trying again.
He adds that by constantly telling your child they’re the best, this could lead to them thinking they’re perfect, or have to be perfect, all the time. If your child spells something wrong for example and you praise them, this will actually lead to confusion and they’ll stop trusting their own instincts.
Let them take risks
In order to build confidence, we have to take risks. Naturally, it’s scary for any parent to let their child do this but it’s important they make their own choices and take responsibility for them from a young age.
Don’t try to protect your child from failure. It’s an inevitable part of life and the younger we are when we realise this, the better we’ll be able to cope with it. By letting your child take risks, you’re also teaching them how to solve their own problems which is an invaluable part of building self-esteem in children.
You can visit the Baby Centre website for more confidence building top tips: https://www.babycentre.co.uk/a556441/helping-your-child-to-be-confident
Self-esteem activities for kids
There are a number of activities which are great at building self-esteem in children including:
• Letting them help out around the house. This teaches them responsibility and helps them to feel their contribution is valuable
• Hobbies. Teaching kids to stick at something will give them a sense of accomplishment and achievement which is a great confidence booster
• Learning a new skill can be very empowering. It could be something as simple as teaching them how to set the table for dinner to teaching them how to ride a bike
• Let them make their own choices every once in a while. This teaches them responsibility and the risks that come with it. Start small with things like what they want to wear, eat or play with and gradually you can start to give them responsibility for bigger life choices
If you would like to find out the confidence building activities for kids we employ here at Tigers Day Nurseries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. With many years of experience in this area, we can also help if you need advice about how to help a child with low self-esteem.