Having a lack of or low self-esteem is a problem that many children deal with. Here are some simple ways that you can help your child build their self-esteem.
While parents do their very best to ensure that their children are physically healthy and ready to face the world, with both practical and academic skills to bring to university and job applications alike, many unintentionally overlook a major issue afflicting countless children.
Mental health is vital to a child’s success, and unfortunately, a lot of kids struggle with theirs in this day and age. Mental health struggles can begin at much earlier age than some adults comprehend, with anxiety disorders and depression being particularly prevalent among today’s kids.
Often, these mental health issues can be connected in part, if not fully, to low self-esteem. While a diagnosed mental health condition often requires the help of a psychiatrist or therapist, you can do a lot to help your child build their self-esteem.
For that matter, a child doesn’t have to have a diagnosable mental health issue to struggle with low self-esteem. Rather, those self-esteem issues can be a component of what your child may or may not be struggling with.
There are so many ways that you can help children build their self-esteem and make them feel better about themselves. Boosted self-esteem can make your child feel better about themselves physically and emotionally and can enable them to more easily make friends and try new things and experiences.
With that in mind, let’s look into some of the ways that you can help your child build their self-esteem.
1. Listen To Their Worries About Appearance
You may think that your child’s appearance is perfect, but that doesn’t mean they feel the same way. A lot of children struggle with the way that they look, and there are a lot of things that you can do to help your child build their self-esteem in this respect.
It’s important to remember, however, that even if you sense this kind of insecurity in your child, you don’t bring it up or push it on them. They could easily misinterpret this as you critiquing their looks, and that kind of critique coming from a parent could be devastating to a child.
If your child is struggling with acne, as is common for preteens and teenagers, listen to them and help them choose a face wash to help them with the issue; and if the problem is severe, consider taking them to the dermatologist.
Another big problem that can affect your child’s self-esteem is the condition of their teeth. If your child needs braces, this treatment in itself can help your child feel better about their appearance, as crooked teeth can be embarrassing. But so too can braces, at least for children and teens.
Though about 4 million Americans are currently wearing braces, according to the American Association of Orthodontists, lots of kids feel awkward or ashamed about wearing theirs. This is why lots of parents today consider Invisalign braces for their children, as they aren’t as easily noticeable.
It’s no wonder that 47% of Invisalign Teen users reported a boost of self-esteem during treatment, as opposed to just 22% of teens wearing metal braces.
2. Encourage Them To Follow Their Dreams
Another important way to help your child build their self-esteem is to support them in their dreams. A lot of kids develop interests that could lead to long-term goals and even future careers when they’re quite young. And many also develop interests that they may drop within a year. But either way, your child may experience self-esteem problems if you don’t encourage them to follow their dreams and take their passions seriously.
This is why it’s important for you to encourage your child to pursue their interests as long as those interests are safe and healthy. Even if you don’t necessarily feel like your child’s interests are going to lead to a lifelong career or are realistic, they need to be able to pursue them.
And you never know; even if you think it would be difficult for your child to, say, start their own clothing line down the road, difficult doesn’t equal impossible. Right now, there are over 400 million entrepreneurs across the world. Your child could very well become one of them!
3. Help Them Succeed At School
Helping your child succeed at school is another important way to help your child build their self-esteem. A lot of children feel as if they aren’t smart or are unworthy due to issues at school. Furthermore, problems with their academics can lead to them being held back, exacerbating those self-esteem issues. Of course, your child may also feel a lack of self-worth even if they deny being worried about school.
The fact is that if your child is struggling academically, it is in their best interests not just in terms of their self-esteem but in terms of their overall success for you to personally help them catch up or even hire a tutor to help. Emphasize that your child will be loved no matter what and that their worth doesn’t rely on their academic success, too.
One thing to further consider is having your child tested for learning disabilities if they’re continuing to struggle with the same issues. While some children have more of an issue with their academics than others, uplifting them in this sense is never a bad move.
4. Encourage Them To Make Friends
Needless to say, a lot of children feel insecure when they lack the friendships and social connections that they need. While some kids need more social interactions than others, everyone loves to have friends that they can emotionally rely upon.
Right now, it’s difficult for people to interact in person, but kids today are more used to texting and communicating over video conferencing technology than children of previous generations. Perhaps try connecting your child with other kids at their school, or online clubs where they can meet other kids with similar interests. This can make it much easier for them to make lasting friendships.
Final Thoughts on Ways to Help Your Child Build Their Self-Esteem
There are so many reasons why you should emphasize building self-esteem for your child. And there are plenty of ways to help your child build their self-esteem, too. Ultimately, a stronger base of self-esteem is important for your child not only in the present but in the future as well.