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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

                      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 September 16, 2019

                      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                      You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                      We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                      The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                      Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                      1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                      Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                      For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                      • (1) Research
                      • (2) Deciding the topic
                      • (3) Creating the outline
                      • (4) Drafting the content
                      • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                      • (6) Revision
                      • (7) etc.

                      Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                      2. Change Your Environment

                      Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                      One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                      3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                      Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                      Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                      My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                      Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                      4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                      If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                      Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                      I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                      5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                      I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                      Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                      As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                      6. Get a Buddy

                      Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                      I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                      7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                      This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                      For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                      8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                      What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                      9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                      If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                      Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                      10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                      Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                      Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                      11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                      At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                      Reality check:

                      I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                      More About Procrastination

                      Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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