5 Ways To Help Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem

 5 Ways To Help Build Your Child's Self-Esteem

There comes a point in your parenting journey when you realize you need to step back. You want to keep them safe and shield them from the hard times, but you have to let them figure it out for themselves so they can grow and mature.

A strong sense of self-esteem is one of the best tools they can have in their toolbelt for those moments. High self-esteem can give children the courage to try new things, the ability to cope with failure if those things go sideways, and the confidence to try again. It’s the fuel they need to learn and grow as students and as people!

Since self-efficacy (students’ belief in their ability to succeed) is one of our core tenets, we’re celebrating National Teen Self-Esteem Month by arming you with five tools you can use to foster a healthy sense of self-esteem in your kids.

What Are Common Signs of Low Self-Esteem?

 From the pressures of school to social media and their social lives, there’s no shortage of things that lower a child’s self-esteem. It’s important to know what to look for if you’re worried that your child is struggling with low self-esteem. Some signs that you should be on the lookout for include:

  • Negative self-talk about themselves
  • Withdrawing from social situations or other activities
  • Negatively comparing themselves to others
  • Anxiety over mistakes and the inability to move on from them

If you notice one or more of these signs, it’s time to have a chat. Reassure them that you’re on their side and ask them how they’re feeling. If they open up, great! But don’t be discouraged if they don’t want to discuss it immediately. Let them know you’ll be there when they’re ready, and give them the space they need. And remember, when the discussion finally happens, your role is more about listening than talking. FIght that parental urge to offer solutions or fix things because this can make them feel more pressured or judged, and that’s the opposite of what we want.

Practice Effort-Based Praise

 This may seem obvious, but there’s one specific change: Rather than praising your child for results, like getting an A on a test or a medal at Field Day, focus on their effort or attitude. Effort-based praise focuses on things kids can control, like how much they studied for the test or practiced for Field Day. By focusing on the effort rather than the result, you show that the work they put in impacts the results!

Results-based praise can work against your child’s self-esteem and instill a fear of failure. In one study, researchers gave tests to two groups of 5th graders. After the first test, one group was praised for their intelligence and the other for their effort. In the second harder test, the students didn’t perform as well, and those who originally received the results-based praise took the setback as a self-esteem hit. However, the group that received effort-based praise was more likely to take the test home to study.

The Power of Setting Goals

 One of the best ways to show your child how capable they are is to help them build a plan for accomplishing their goals. Sit down with them and figure out how to make their dreams attainable. Start with a list of what they’d like to accomplish, then break those big goals into smaller, bite-sized benchmarks. This will help them stay on track, and the smaller wins will keep them motivated!

If you need some more tips on how to set goals, check out our blog post on Practical Tips for MUSE Global School Families to Excel in 2024.

Embracing Failure as a Learning Opportunity

 Failure is a common part of life, which is why learning how to fail is important. No parent wants to see their child fail, but it can show them that failure isn’t fatal.

Failure is an opportunity to examine what happened and learn from mistakes. Remember to praise their effort and offer constructive criticism if they ask for it. We want to be sure that our kids feel comfortable, not defeated, when setbacks come their way. And be sure to encourage them to persevere when those setbacks rear their ugly heads!

Find Their Passion and Embrace Their Strengths

 You can also stack the deck in your child’s favor by playing to their strengths. Help them find their thing, no matter what it is, and then help them pursue it. Exploring their passions can help kids build a sense of identity, which is a key part of building self-confidence. And the progression that they’ll see from developing those skills will help them feel good about themselves.

You can trust us on this one. Learning through our passions is our thing, so much so that Passion-Based Learning is one of the Five Pillars of the MUSE Global School philosophy!

Be A Role Model and Lead By Example

 Kids learn about the world by watching the people around them. That’s why the most important tool in your Self-Esteem Toolbelt is to be a good role model. Show them how exciting it is to try new things by trying new things. Show them how to deal with failure by dealing with your own losses healthily. Give your children a first-hand look at how to be more confident in yourself, and you’re teaching them how to do the same!

Wrapping Up!

 Raising a child is a team sport, but you’re not just playing with your other half. You’re also working with your kids to build the skills they’ll need to live their best lives. By using the tools we’ve laid out in this article, you and your child can start your journey toward a more self-confident life.

Need a little more help? Check out the MUSE Global School Calendar to see our upcoming Parent Workshops. Are you interested in learning more about our philosophy? Check out our Mission and Principles. And when you’re ready to join the MUSE Global School Family, you can APPLY HERE.

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