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10 Ways to Help Your Child Build Self-Esteem

10 Ways to Help Your Child Build Self-Esteem

Anyone who has kids knows that they are both a magical blessing and a constant source of stress. Raising children requires a lot of work—just feeding, cleaning and dressing them takes up a good chunk of a parent’s time, and that’s before we even begin to teach them about the world.  It is important to pass on good values to our little ones, but even more importantly, we want them to feel confident in their abilities and to have a realistic, yet positive self-image. If you want to help your child build self-esteem, try out some of these strategies.

1. Talk to your child and find out if there are any problems.

Mom talking to child

    Effective communication is essential for building healthy and lasting relationships. Being a child is exiting, confusing and even scary at times, so your child may have a lot of questions about the world as well as fears and doubts. Other kids might be mean to your child, the child may feel inadequate in certain ways, and he or she may feel insecure about their body or intimidated by social interactions. It is important to establish trust and let the child tell you why it may feel unsure of itself, so you can work together on finding a solution.

    2. Help your child find an activity he or she feels passionate about.

    Some people are born with an incredible voice; some have a good ear for music; others have the bone structure and musculature that can make them a great athlete; and some have a vast imagination and a flare for story-telling. Find out what your child’s natural talents are and help them engage in activities they find the most fun.

    CHild plays guitar

      Dancing, painting, playing an instrument or something more pragmatic like math are all good options—just make sure that your child is motivated. As the child begins to develop a higher level of skill, his or her self-esteem will shoot through the roof.

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      3. Be forgiving to others and show your child that compassion is a great virtue.

      Everyone makes mistakes; it’s a part of maturing and a necessary step in attaining wisdom. By practicing forgiveness, you let your child now that, although what they did was wrong for a number of reasons, it’s quite alright to make a mistake every now and then.

      Forgiveness

        It also shows them that even though people sometimes argue and feelings get hurt, reconciliation is possible with a little bit of compromise and empathy. Your child will learn this lesson from you and start practicing forgiveness in their daily life.

        4. Teach your child to focus on building meaningful relationships, look for happiness in small things and strive for success.

        Many people attain a certain level of wealth, power and skill, yet they never conquer their fears and remain unsure of themselves. Teach your child about the value of true friendship and how others can help make you stronger. Teach them to turn to the hundreds of positive little things in life when looking for happiness and to be ambitious and persistent.

        Boy and Girl Running in Tall Grass

          Failure is just an opportunity to come back even stronger and with good friends there to back you up, even your darkest moments can seem a bit brighter. There is no better way to help your child build high self-esteem than to show them the value of having others who believe in you.

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          5. Teach children to set attainable goals.

          Wanting to be the first man on Mars, a world famous ballerina or a movie star are very ambitious goals and show just how creative your child can be, but they may be unattainable. It’s not a good idea to shower your child with praise all the time and give them an unrealistic image of themselves and their abilities. Let them give anything a shot, but if they clearly aren’t meant to be a singer, don’t hesitate to tell them that. Be easy on them and offer alternatives. Help them formulate some short-term goals that are easily attainable with some hard work and have these smaller goals build up to something more long-term but still within reach.

          set and reach goal concept

            For example, if you sign them up for a dance class, their short-term goals could be to master certain moves and practice at least 2 hours every day, while a bigger goal might be to place high in a local dance competition. Eventually, they could strive to improve and win some larger competitions in a few years and perhaps become a dance instructor when they grow up. As they start achieving goal after goal, they will feel more confident and happier.

            6. Teach your child how to be organized and how to study for best results.

            Many people believe that studying is all about sitting down and staring at a book for hours. This can lead to a child feeling frustrated and believing that he or she isn’t smart enough to learn a subject. Being organized is a skill that can be learned. A child needs a good balance between studying, doing their chores and having fun—a balance that can only be achieved by organizing their time effectively. Some subjects can be more difficult for a child than others and they may have problems when they feel they are racing against a clock. Tests in particular can be stressful and take all the fun out of learning.

            Child studying from many books

              Luckily there are many online resources available for preparing your child for standardized exams so they can feel more relaxed and sure of themselves. You should also try to make learning somewhat fun—documentaries, movies, video games and practical examples can work wonders to get kids interested in a particular subject.

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              7. Enroll your child in classes that focus on physical activity.

              A healthy mind in a healthy body, as the old saying goes. Getting a good deal of physical exercise during the day is not only beneficial to your child’s health, but can also help them develop strong and agile body that they can be proud of.

              Kids boxing

                Looking good and feeling good will help your child build self-esteem, while playing a sport will enable them to be around like-minded kids and improve their social skills.

                8. Play with your child whenever you get the chance.

                Some emotional and physical contact with others on a daily basis is very important for a child. Devote some time to listening to their stories, engage in some creative activities and teach them some valuable skills in the process.

                Spending time with your kids

                  Anything can be made into a game, so you have plenty of opportunity to get your child used to teamwork, problem solving and expressing themselves freely.

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                  9. Become a good role-model by practicing what you preach

                  Kids simply soak up information from their immediate surroundings and they will turn to you as their main source of information on acceptable behavior. Monkey see, monkey do is their main strategy. Be sure that you show your child how one should behave through actions; don’t just tell them what they should do and then do the very things you instructed them not to do.

                  Dad giving good example

                    If your child sees that their parents aren’t afraid to express themselves, that they try to be good to others and are very social and open with other people, the child will emulate this confident behavior in their lives.

                    10. Teach your child about responsibilities and the value of hard work.

                    A child shouldn’t be held to the same high standards as adults, but they should understand that their actions affect others and that there are people who count on them. If the child understands why it’s necessary for them to do their chores and that it takes hard work to earn a living, he or she will have a different outlook on life. Children are often happy to help out their parents and feel proud when they contribute. Older kids can look after smaller kids during the day, a child can help their parents in the kitchen, they can help with home repairs (even if it just means handing tools to dad), and they can clean the house and help organize events like family reunions and Thanksgiving.

                    child mowing the lawn

                      This way, they know that they are capable of a lot of things and that people rely on them, which builds character and helps your child build self-esteem.

                      When it comes to helping your kids build self-esteem, it’s important to remember to communicate, spend some time with your child and allow them to make their own choices, while at the same time nudging them in the right direction.

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                      Ivan Dimitrijevic

                      SEO Consultant

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                      Last Updated on October 16, 2018

                      The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

                      The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

                      It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

                      If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

                      One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

                      Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

                      In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

                      Why you can’t sleep through the night

                      The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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                      Stress

                      If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

                      Exposure to blue light before sleep time

                      We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

                      While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

                      Eating close to bedtime

                      Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

                      Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

                      Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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                      Medical conditions

                      In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

                      The vicious sleep cycle

                      The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

                      Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

                      You get a bad night’s sleep
                      –> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
                      –> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
                      –> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

                        You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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                        How to sleep better (throughout the night)

                        To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

                        1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

                        What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

                        Here are a few suggestions:

                        • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
                        • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
                        • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
                        • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
                        • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

                        2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

                        What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

                        • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
                        • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
                        • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
                        • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

                        3. Adjust your sleep temperature

                        Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

                        Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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                        Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

                        Sleep better form now on

                        Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

                        I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

                        As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

                        Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

                        Reference

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