Rearing little minds and hearts takes great courage. As a mom, I know this well. From the moment our children are born, we become their most significant support system. Such an immense task and rightfully so! Of course, we want to take extra care as we navigate this incredible parenting journey and leave our mark on what will ultimately be our legacy.
Here are five simple strategies to help you boost your child’s self-esteem & how I try to incorporate it in our home:
1. Tell your children that you love them
Research suggests that a parent’s affection will help to shape a child’s sense of happiness and security for life. Kids who grow up without affirming words of affection at home often go on to look for love in all the wrong places.
Even when my children upset or disappoint me, I reassure them that my love is unwavering.
2. Teach them how to fail
We all want our kids to be winners but there are even greater lessons to be learned through life’s failures. Teach them how to respond in times of disappointment and they will carry these values into adulthood.
My daughter has a very competitive spirit. I try to remind her that it is okay to feel disappointed, but to enjoy the process of whatever she is doing and to celebrate for others.
3. Practice what you preach
Kids are like sponges, easily sucking up what they see modeled to them daily. Be a positive role model and set the bar for expected behavior at home. According to the Illinois State University Child Care Center, credible adults inspire kids’ confidence and admiration while hypocrisy only works to disillusion children.
I own up to my kiddos when I am less than my best self, communicating to them and even apologizing to them when I fall short is an important example I want to be.
4. Listen with purpose
The simple act of listening to your child can help to build their self-esteem. Before you react or provide a solution, listen to your child intentionally and give them a safe space to openly express themselves. A child who feels ‘heard’ is more likely to grow in confidence. One small way we let our kiddos know we are listening is by giving them the floor every evening to tell us about their day.
In my home, have a ritual of going around the dinner table and listing our favorite thing of the day. I just adore watching their faces light up as they relive the best parts of their day and have our full undivided attention.
5. Capture the good times
Time is fleeting and before we know it, our kids will be grown and living their lives as independent individuals. It is so important to capture the good times and the precious memories of life at home with our kids. Frame family photographs and position this around your home. Not only will this be a constant reminder of the love shared in your home, but research also suggests that family photographs on display at home may help to reinforce your child’s position in the family. This can certainly work to boost your child’s self-esteem as they begin to acknowledge their worth as a valued member of the family.
As a photographer, you know my home is filled with beautiful prints of our family. Not only from our professional family sessions but also events throughout the year. My children love to see their photos and proudly show them to visitors.
Have tips and tricks of your own when it comes to raising self-confident littles? What other actions do you take daily to help boost your child’s self-esteem? Share it below and let’s work together to develop independent and confident little people in our homes today!
Outfits Featured: Jagged Little Edges
Photography: Elisabeth Ashliegh / Elisabeth Ashliegh Photography
Elisabeth Ashliegh Gelhar