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12 Effective Ways to Boost Your Kid's Self-Esteem

Self-confidence is important for all children. It’s the foundation upon which they base their self-worth and decisions that will one day impact everything they do. Geez, no pressure or anything.

As parents, we worry about instilling just the right amount of confidence in our kids so they’ll grow up strong enough to resist peer pressure, yet humble enough that they’re not cocky buttheads. It’s a delicate balance, really.

Most parents I know use good old-fashioned praise with their children, and while praise is an important part of instilling self-confidence, I often wonder if it’s the most effective way. In researching practical methods to boost self-confidence in my introverted child, I learned some really valuable tips worth sharing – check them out after the jump!

  • Show your pride 1 of 12
    Show your pride
    Take every opportunity to showcase your child's accomplishments. Whether it's artwork on the fridge or a trophy on a bookcase, allow your child to see how much their hard work and dedication matters. Dr. Sears recommends parents, "Discover [each accomplishment], encourage it, frame it, and display it."
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Encourage your child’s opinion 2 of 12
    Encourage your child's opinion
    Your child's opinion - free from judgment - matters. Scholastic recommends involving your child in discussions about your household as well as current events. Confidence in sharing their opinion will encourage them to speak up for themselves and causes they believe in.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Improve your own self image 3 of 12
    Improve your own self image
    Our kids learn from example and if we're always down on ourselves, chances are they'll grow to mirror our negative behavior. According to Dr. Sears, "Children translate your unhappiness with yourself to mean unhappiness with them," and further suggests that older children feel responsible for their parents' happiness. Discover new ways to bring personal joy into your life and spread the happy!
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Provide gentle nudging 4 of 12
    Provide gentle nudging
    Scholastic says that kids often need gentle nudging on tasks they're afraid of doing wrong. Patience and guidance go a long way in ensuring a child's success.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Give your child responsibilities 5 of 12
    Give your child responsibilities
    Ownership and pride go hand in hand. Dr. Sears says,"One of the main ways children develop self- confidence and internalize values is through helping maintain the family living area, inside and out. Giving children household duties helps them feel more valuable, besides channeling their energy into desirable behavior and teaching skills." Parents, make that list and get started!
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Allow your child to problem solve 6 of 12
    Allow your child to problem solve
    As parents, we're often too eager to solve our kids' problems. Scholastic recommends allowing our kids to practice problem solving outside of the school environment to better enable them to solve problems at school in the future. Facilitate problem solving discussions with your child and allow them to arrive at a solution.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Provide a sense of belonging 7 of 12
    Provide a sense of belonging
    Your child holds an important place in your family, as well as your heart. According to WebMD, "A sense of belonging helps a child to participate in learning new things; learning makes a child feel confident in making contributions; making contributions helps secure a feeling of belonging. This cycle helps establish and strengthen a child's self-esteem." Take opportunities to remind your child of just how important they are to your family.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Encourage your child to try new things 8 of 12
    Encourage your child to try new things
    Trying new things can be scary, especially for a child who fears doing things wrong. Scholastic reminds us that kids need to try all kinds of different things to build personal preferences and gain valuable experience. Encourage your child to try new things and support him when he does.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Watch those labels 9 of 12
    Watch those labels
    Dr. Sears states, "Every child searches for an identity and, when found, clings to it like a trademark." So while your child may indeed be shy, asthmatic, or learning disabled, manage the condition and focus on creating esteem-building labels instead.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Praise effort 10 of 12
    Praise effort
    The most we can ever expect from our children is their personal best. According to Scholastic, kids who are complimented on their efforts are more likely to seek out challenging tasks.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Be there 11 of 12
    Be there
    Advocate, stay involved, and take time to listen to your child. These simple actions serve as constant reminders to your child that you're in their corner.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Get real 12 of 12
    Get real
    Maturity yields perspective and often our kids view one mistake as a predictor of bad things to come. Scholastic reminds parents, "Help your child put self-criticism into perspective by reminding him of the progress he's made."
    Image credit: Shutterstock

For more valuable tips and resources for boosting your child’s self-confidence, visit Scholastic, Dr. Sears, and WebMD.

How do you encourage your child’s self-esteem?

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