Building Self Esteem in Children
Building Self Esteem in children is easy once you know what to focus on. Their needs are simple and it's easy for their parents or teachers to help them to feel good about themselves. What's important is to focus on the long lasting qualities and skills that positively affect them, the world, and your family.
Building self esteem in children is done at home. When parents are both working, it's not easy to give every family member the attention that they require for great self esteem. When I was growing up, most mothers were home, and even though they were busy children could sit in the same room and draw or paint while Mom was ironing or cleaning the kitchen.
This made it easy for the child to talk about school or friends, or something she wanted to do for the summer.
was engaged in the other activity, so she was listening, and not instructing. Children don't want to be taught all the time, so the child could freely chatter which gave Mom a chance to hear the thinking, the goals and the concerns of her child. This attention helps to build self esteem in children.
Yet, even when both parents are working, it's possible to focus attention on activities or responses that will help your child to build the emotional stamina and stability that will help him or her in building self esteem.
Attention is the Main Element in Building Self Esteem in children
Self esteem in children is not built from successes. This is usually pride. Pride is one of the lower level emotions because is has built in fear of loss and judgment. These are emotions which will not serve you or your children well through their life. Some of the other emotions that are energy draining are guilt, grief and fear. These will not support building self esteem in your child.
Most scales of emotions begin the positive set with courage.
Courage is one quality that you can absolutely help your child develop. When your child conquers her fear of the slide, or the monkey bars, she is building her self esteem. This is different from pride because now she is conquering her fear, not another child. She is replacing fear with courage. This is building self esteem more than any activity where she is competing against another child. (I don't know the name of the girl in the photo to the left, but if you are interested, we have the link to
the rock climbing program. )
Don't misunderstand us. Competitive sports or other activities are fine as long as your child is rewarded by you for the courage they show in their practice, for beating their personal records, or at taking on the scary thing. For example, being captain of the team might be difficult for your child. It will certainly offer many opportunities for self growth.
Running a longer distance, or competing in more events for the good of the team score can also be a courageous move by your child. Don't try to protect your child from failure. Let them accept this challenge. It will strengthen them and build self esteem in ways you can only imagine. Remember, people can do extraordinary things when they believe that they can do them. Mothers can pick up a car in order to free their child!
Courageous people are explorers. They are not afraid to fail because they have learned that they can get back on the horse again, or practice more and go to another race, or try another solution for the one that didn't work. They put back into the world more than they take and they will always feel good about that. Up on the scale from courage is willingness, which is certainly a function of living happily in a family. When a younger child is willing to give up his TV show to go along with his older brother to Karate even though he is too young and must sit and wait, this is willingness. This younger child should be appreciated for his gift. Children can also be encouraged to set the table or to help make the salad. Their little acts of willingness to share tasks will help to build their self esteem.
The more the parent is attentive to the child's positive emotions, the more the child will be encouraged to develop these. (More on the specific emotions and their vibrational levels
can be found here.)
Up from willingness is acceptance, and above that is love. You can help a child to develop their acceptance starting at a young age when you talk to them while their formula is warming. They are learning to accept the need to wait for a few minutes. A child can be taught to accept a disappointing grade, and then be taught that studying harder, or working harder will change that grade.
Fine Tuning Your Child to Be in the Positive, Energy Providing Scale
Help your child to accept any disappointment without tears, guilt or shame or denial or blaming. (All in the negative half, or energy draining half of the emotional scale.) It is very important to learn to accept disappointing news as information from the Universe. This learning to accept disappointment will help to build solid, invincible self esteem.
We can only have happiness when we know what we want, and learning what we don't want is part of that. With acceptance we can more gracefully learn these lessons. Love and peace are others near the top, and the child learns this every day in a calm, loving home. This calm and peaceful atmosphere in the home is building self esteem in your child.
Helping a child through all of this, are the attentive parents, reinforcing the emotions on the positive scale, and helping their children to get past the negative ones. More on the scales of emotions can be found in
The Sedona Method
We can also recommend another article which discusses more on adults as well as children
building self esteem.
And, if you or someone in your family has trouble with anger, we have another page which might be of interest to you --
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