Build Self-Esteem for a Lifetime of Confidence



How a child feels about him or herself can have a strong influence on their academic achievement. If their self-esteem is strong, they can respond to life's challenges better, and become happy and successful adults. As a parent, you play a major role in shaping your child's self-esteem. Here are some ways to help your child feel good about themselves:

• Acknowledge and encourage your child's strengths and special talents. Provide opportunities for your child to participate in things they are good at, such as music, sports, dance, theatre, or community service.

• Help your child see the positive. Remind them of their past achievements and special skills. Developing confidence in their ability to solve problems is a key element in self-esteem.

• Teach your child that it's okay to make mistakes. Reassure them that no one gets everything right all of the time.

• Support your child's attempts to try new things. Help them feel that they don't have to be a "star" at everything they try. The pressure to succeed may lead a child to limit themselves to activities they know they can already do.

• Help your child take responsibility for the negative consequences of their own behaviour. Learning to acknowledge and try to repair harm or damage done to others is a far more effective tool to build a child's self-respect than blame or punishment.

Also, after school programs can help children develop self-esteem by providing structured and supervised activities such as computer instruction, sports, literacy tutoring, music and art lessons, nutrition guidance, and help with homework.

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