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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.

                      More by this author

                      Ivan Dimitrijevic

                      Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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                      Last Updated on October 14, 2020

                      How to Be Confident: 51 Proven Ways to Build Self-Confidence

                      How to Be Confident: 51 Proven Ways to Build Self-Confidence

                      When you learn how to be confident, you can use it in your everyday life to tackle all of your goals and challenges. However, not many people realize that learning how to gain self-confidence is like building a muscle—it grows in response to the level of performance required of it.

                      Here I will give you 51 proven ways to overcome a lack of self-confidence and achieve more.

                      1. Learn Something New

                      Sign up for that evening class and enjoy it. Alternatively, read a book (or take an online course) on a topic you’ve always wanted to learn more about.

                      Learning new things stretches your abilities, keeps your mind active, and most definitely improves your confidence in your ability to do new things.

                      2. Ask Your Partner or a Friend What You Can Do For Them

                      This can be something as easy as helping them with a chore they don’t like or have little time for. Through helping them, you’ll find that you feel better about yourself.

                      3. Hit the Gym

                      The physiological effects of going to the gym will leave you feeling great.

                      Countless studies have shown that regular workouts at the gym can boost not only your sense of well-being, but can increase your self-esteem, too[1].

                      4. Go to a Networking Event

                      Rather than being nervous about your own stuff, focus on how to help others. Instead of going along with the aim of trying to sell yourself to others, why not change your approach and simply go along to see how you can help the people you meet?

                      By doing this, you’ll come across as calm, confident, and someone that people will want to turn to again and again.

                      5. Get Clear on the Things That Matter to You

                      If these things are not in your life, you’ll need to bring them in.

                      For example, if your daily work routine is currently as dull as dishwater—but you’d like it to be fun—then do something about it. Turn data entry into personal speed contests, paper filing into “screen-free” time, and interactions with your colleagues into enjoyable conversations.

                      6. Remove Negativity From Your Life

                      Write a list of the things you’re tolerating and putting up with in your life, then write down how you can remove, minimize, or diminish each one.

                      I personally like to do this with pen and paper as it feels just a little more real and definite than on screen. It’s also a good idea to put the priority items at the top of your list, so you can begin resolving these first.

                      7. Celebrate Your Big and Small Wins

                      Look at the big or small goals you’ve completed, and give yourself credit for your part in it.

                      Recognizing your achievements is not egotistical, it’s healthy.

                      8. Converse With New People

                      Go and have a conversation with someone you don’t know. By doing this, you may be pleasantly surprised by what—or who—you’ll discover.

                      You can also extend this trait by breaking outside of your normal social situations at your workplace. This will do wonders when learning how to be confident.

                      9. Do Something You Would Normally Say No to

                      Next time you talk yourself out of doing something (a party invite, a challenging project, etc.), go and do it anyway. This is a great way to boost personal development.

                      10. Do One Thing Each Day That Makes You Smile

                      This could be something as simple as sending a thank you email to a colleague that has been helpful to you, or leaving a surprise present for your partner that they’ll discover when they wake up.

                      Life shouldn’t be drudgery, and we all need to make the effort to keep it light, loving, and fun.

                      11. Give Yourself Good Advice

                      Look for the patterns of thought that take you to a place where you start second-guessing or overthinking.

                      Now imagine that your best friend went through exactly the same thought process and ended up holding themselves back—what would you want to say to them?

                      This is known as Soloman’s Paradox—we’re often quite good at solving others’ problems but not our own. Challenge this and take your own good advice next time[2].

                      12. Ask Someone on a Date

                      If you’re single and have met someone that you’re definitely attracted to—go ahead and ask them out.

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                      Even if they turn you down, it will help you learn how to be confident through the fact that you were decisive and made an effort. What’s the best thing that could happen? They might just say yes!

                      13. Write Down 20 Things That Make You Feel Good

                      Think of this as a gratitude list. Typical things you might include are: your partner, your kids, your parents, your pets, etc.

                      I recommend writing this list at least once a month. And most importantly—make sure you’re giving the 20 things plenty of room in your life.

                      14. Stop Playing Different Roles

                      Stop playing different roles and squeezing yourself into boxes based on what you think people expect of you.

                      Be your authentic self, the one who knows what to do and loves what they do. It’s easy to find this part of yourself as it’s inherent in your hobbies and your close friendships.

                      If you can bring this authenticity into your work life, you’ll be surprised at how positively others will react to you.

                      15. Cultivate a Positive Mindset

                      Learn to catch yourself every time you tell yourself that you can’t have, won’t get, or aren’t good enough to get what you want[3].

                      Talk yourself up when learning how to be confident.

                        Instead, tell yourself that you can have, will get, and are good enough to get what you want. Mindset is everything. Make sure yours is positive and dynamic.

                        16. Take Yourself off Auto-Pilot

                        Make deliberate decisions on what really matters to you.

                        For instance, if you normally work 9 to 5 but find yourself spending hours getting to and from work, why not negotiate with your boss to mix your hours up a bit?

                        You might also suggest a day or two working from home. Sell this to your boss by reminding them that the time and stress lost to commuting can be neatly transferred to productive work hours.

                        17. Listen Carefully to What You Tell Yourself

                        Next time you come up against a risk or a challenge, listen to what you tell yourself, and look for a way to improve your inner dialogue.

                        If you normally find that your inner dialogue is negative, then break out of this by asking yourself questions such as:

                        • What would make this easier?
                        • Is there a different way of doing this?
                        • Could research help?

                        18. Laugh at Yourself

                        Scared of looking silly? It’s no biggie, so don’t let it stop you.

                        Whenever we try something new, there’s a fair chance that we’ll make fools of ourselves. But you’d be a bigger fool to let that stop you. Instead, laugh at your baby steps and watch your confidence soar as you begin to master your chosen activity.

                        19. Listen to Your Doubts

                        Sometimes your doubts are there to let you know what you need to prepare for, so you can use them to your benefit as you move forwards. Other times, they are just doubts.

                        The trick is to quickly determine if your doubts have validity. If they do, use them to shape your decisions.

                        To illustrate this, imagine that you’ve had an enticing job offer, but you doubt whether you’re capable of doing the job. Spend a little time analyzing your doubts to see whether they reflect reality, or whether they are just negative thoughts that are trying to hold you back.

                        20. Recall a Time When You Did a Great Job

                        Think of a time when it felt like a whole bank of switches in your head flicked to the on position, and you were firing on all cylinders. What were you doing, and what’s the reason it felt so great? Can you emulate that passion and drive that you had?

                        21. Tear up Your Rule Book

                        You may not know it, but you’ve almost certainly got a whole bunch of outdated rules that determine what you do and don’t do. These rules limit your thinking and your behavior.

                        It’s time to change them. Tear up this subconscious rule book and toss it in the fire. Once you’ve done this, you’ll immediately notice how free you feel to make challenging and exciting decisions.

                        22. Ask Yourself What You Have Gained When You Lose

                        Do you get annoyed with yourself because you didn’t make the most of something or stepped back from an opportunity?

                        Firstly, don’t beat yourself up because that’s just going to make you feel worse. Instead, be brutally honest and ask yourself what you gained from the situation and what you lost out on.

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                        Based on this win/lose balance, what’s a different choice you can make next time?

                        23. Don’t Let People Put You Down

                        If there’s someone in your life who puts you down or makes you feel small, you owe it to yourself to let them know that you expect something different from now on. 

                        Trust me, once you’ve told them, they’ll change, and you will, too. Inevitably, you’ll boost both your confidence and happiness by taking control of your life in this way.

                        Learn how to get out of toxic relationships in this article.

                        24. Reveal a Little Bit of the Real You

                        Relationships can be difficult. They can also lose their zest and become stale. If this happens in your relationship, then it’s time to add some magic to the mix.

                        Try revealing something interesting about yourself or your past that your partner doesn’t currently know when learning how to be confident. Perhaps you never mentioned to them that you used to play in a rock band—and you still have the recordings to prove it!

                        By adding new things to your relationship, you’ll deepen the bond and keep the spark alive.

                        25. Be Your Own Hero

                        Recognize that you’re more than a match for any situation you might find yourself in—no matter how tough the going gets.

                        We all love movies like Die Hard where ordinary people are driven to super-ordinary feats. But here’s the rub: you can be your own action hero.

                        Whatever the situation, meet it head on and overcome it. Keep in mind the classic phrase: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

                        26. Don’t Give in to the Instant Pay-off

                        If I was to offer you $100 now for a day’s work tomorrow or $110 for the same work, but I won’t pay you for a week, which would you choose? Well, I can’t read your mind, but I do know that studies using a similar question to this have found that most people choose the instant, smaller payment over the latter, bigger payment. It seems that we’re hardwired for instant gratification.

                        However, if you want to be a success in life, always look at the bigger picture. In the example above, if you could have only waited seven more days, you would have been $10 richer!

                        27. Instead of Yelling “I Deserve Better,” Say “I Can Be Better”

                        Too often I hear people complaining about their personal circumstances but refusing to do anything about it. Don’t be like them.

                        If things aren’t going your way, find solutions and implement them. Your boldness and decisiveness will boost your confidence and help you rapidly climb the ladder of success.

                        28. Admit You’re Wrong

                        It may not be easy, but you should always be prepared to hold your hands up and change your mind if things are going south. Not every idea you have will be a winning one. The trick is to know when things are clearly not working out.

                        You can either attempt to get them back on track or kill them off completely (sometimes that’s the best way).

                        29. Trust Your Instincts

                        We all have our gut feelings and intuitions, but many people choose to ignore them and rely only on facts, facts, and more facts! While this may work for many scenarios, there will be other times when you’ll need to rely on your instincts.

                        30. Imagine Your Confident Future Self

                        Imagine you’re visited by a successful, confident, attractive, and vibrant version of you from the future, a version of you who’s everything you hope to be. What do they want to tell you?

                        They might praise your efforts, but they may also criticize your lack of planning and weak goals.

                        Luckily, if you listen closely to what they tell you, you’ll be able to rapidly shift gears in your life and become the you of the future!

                        31. Ask for Help

                        This is a common issue. We take on way too many responsibilities and end up either burning ourselves out or just doing a bad job!

                        The secret is to put the vast majority of your energy and efforts into what you do well. Give the stuff you don’t do well to others who have a gift for it. Sometimes the most confident and effective thing to do is ask for help.

                        32. Be Around People Who Make You Feel Like You

                        Do this by spending more time with the people who support and encourage you and less time with those who undermine you.

                        At work, don’t be ruined by negative, petty people. Instead, make sure you surround yourself with colleagues who make you laugh and feel good about yourself.

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                        33. Participate in the World Around You

                        Ask yourself this question: “What can I participate in that’s important to me?”

                        Typically, this could be your church, a sports club, or even just a weekly get together with your best friend.

                        34. Develop Skills to Work on Things That Matter to You

                        What can you practice that would radically improve your chances of winning?

                        If you want to climb the corporate ladder, for example, then develop the skills needed to do this. These might include: effective project management skills, powerful presentation abilities, and superb goal setting skills.

                        Of course, don’t forget that emulating those who have already achieved your goal is one of the quickest and most reliable ways for you to achieve your aims, too.

                        35. Act Until You Make It

                        The body is a mirror for the mind, so shifting your body language into a confident state can have surprising results.

                        This is all about acting. If you want to come across as tough, act tough. If you want to come across as successful, act successful. And if you want to come across as confident, act confident.

                        Try doing these things, and you’ll be amazed by the results.

                        36. Push Through When You Want to Give up

                        Don’t get disheartened or demotivated when you get to 90% with something you’re working on. Push through, and you’ll see that the last 10% is where the magic happens.

                        37. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

                        Keep comparing yourself to others? Stop it. If you want to learn how to be confident, don’t try to validate yourself through comparison—you’re just peachy as you are.

                        Social media often makes this difficult. Try stepping away from your Facebook page for a few days and reconnect with the great things in your own life.

                        You can get started with this guide.

                        38. Speak up When You Can Make a Difference

                        Speak up if there’s something you think could be improved or if you have an idea you think has legs.

                        Have you noticed that quiet people at work rarely get the promotions? It’s not that they are incapable or lacking talent, but their abilities are usually overlooked as they don’t know how to engage with others or how to sell themselves.

                        Step out of your comfort zone and be sure that you’re an active player. Speak up in meetings by suggesting ideas and offering constructive criticism.

                        39. Stop Struggling and Start Accepting

                        If there’s something you’ve been struggling to understand for a while, stop trying to understand it. Accept it just as it is, fully and wholly.

                        Life offers endless mysteries. If you try to resolve them all you’ll drive yourself insane. Instead, let some mysteries remain, and keep your mind focused on your goals and dreams.

                        40. It’s Okay to Be Shy

                        There’s nothing wrong with being shy, and it doesn’t mean you’re not a confident person.

                        If you suffer from shyness, you might think it’s a major weakness of yours. However, introverted people have the edge in many ways, such as: they’re first-rate listeners, they have excellent observational skills, and they’re easier to trust[4].

                        41. Clean up Your Environment

                        Your environment directly impacts your self-perception. So, if you’re surrounded by clutter, paperwork, and rubbish, put a morning aside to clean up your stuff and get organized.

                        42. Write a List of Things You Would Love to Do

                        Write yourself a list of the amazing things you’d love to do in your life, and make a start by simply looking into the first one or two things that leap out at you. This will help you get started as you learn how to be confident

                        Even if you don’t currently have the means to live your dreams, you can, at the very least, make a start. The best way to do this is to write out the things you’d love to do. These may include cool stuff, such as travelling the world, learning a new language, or climbing a mountain.

                        Once you’ve added the items to your list, don’t stop there. Begin researching and preparing ways to turn your dreams into realities.

                        43. Make Your Self-Worth Independent From Others’ Validation

                        Don’t make your happiness or self-worth dependent on being in a relationship or being validated by someone else.

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                        While it’s difficult to admit it, we often find ourselves rating our self-esteem by the value other people put on us.

                        For instance, you may have a super-positive boss who is always encouraging and supportive. They make you feel upbeat and confident at all times.

                        However, imagine if they left and your new boss was the complete opposite. They constantly look for faults in your work and regularly criticize you. Would you still feel confident in those circumstances?

                        If you’ve answered no, then you need to reappraise your self-worth, as it shouldn’t be dependent on the validation of others.

                        44. Use Your Strengths

                        We all have our weaknesses, but they only undermine your confidence if you let them.

                        For instance, are you aware that Virgin’s founder Richard Branson suffers from dyslexia? He never let this hold him back or destroy his confidence. Today, he is one of the world’s most successful men, with a net worth of approximately $5 billion[5].

                        45. Complete a To-Do List

                        The longer you leave that big thing on your to-do list, the more it’ll drain you, and the bigger it’ll seem. Get it done and free yourself up.

                        If you have a big goal, break it down into smaller tasks. For instance, instead of trying to write a whole chapter of your book in one go, how about just writing the opening paragraph?

                        46. Treat Your Body Well

                        When learning how to be confident, our body image does matter, because if you have a bad relationship with your body, you won’t feel confident in yourself.

                        What’s one of the first things most of us do when we get up in the morning? We look in the mirror. If we don’t like what we see there, then our day starts off with negative self-talk. If, on the other hand, we look in the mirror and feel proud of our appearance, then we start the day off in an upbeat, positive way.

                        If you’re unhappy with your body and looks, do something to improve them. Exercise, diet, and styling are common ways of improving your body image—and your confidence.

                        47. Learn to Say No

                        Don’t say yes to taking on a task simply because you don’t want to rock the boat. You can politely decline requests you can’t meet without needing to create excuses.

                        While saying yes to everything that comes your way might feel like you’re being helpful and in demand, in the long run, you’ll burn yourself out.

                        48. Learn From Confident People

                        Look at the people you respect who seem confident. Don’t copy them, but identify what it is they do differently that conveys confidence and what you can learn from it.

                        People-watching is not only fun, but it can be informative, too. Look closely at successful people you know, or those being interviewed on TV, and over time you’ll begin to notice common traits, beliefs, and behaviors that they exhibit.

                        49. Follow Through on Your Plans

                        Most people find it easy to write plans. The hard part, of course, is seeing them through. To stand out from the crowd, make sure that you know exactly how to complete your plans.

                        If you need to, write down a step-by-step guide and begin following it. Not only will this drive you towards the completion of your plans—but experiencing the progress will also give you a continuous boost to your self-esteem.

                        50. Shift Your Focus When You Doubt Yourself

                        When you feel yourself focusing inwards and becoming paralyzed with doubt or fear, switch to focusing outwards at what you can engage and interact with.

                        I remember one of my writing tutors telling me that when the words stop flowing, it’s time to take a break— preferably a walk in the park. It’s sound advice as it’s very easy to get caught up with our thoughts and emotions and be unable to make progress.

                        51. Never Beat Yourself up for Failing

                        Life is guaranteed to not always be a barrel of laughs. Instead, it’s much more like a roller coaster. There will be ups and downs, so ride them out.

                        The art of living is to know how to handle whatever comes you way. The best way to achieve this is by developing an iron core that is unhindered by the topsy-turvy outside world.

                        Final Thoughts

                        Here I’ve given you 51 different ways to start building self-confidence Take action on the ways that you’re drawn to.

                        It’s not enough to read about them. For them to work, you must adopt them into your daily life. Do this, and you’ll start to feel your confidence soar.

                        More on How to Be Confident

                        Featured photo credit: Matheus Ferrero via unsplash.com

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