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15 Ways to Boost a Child’s Self-Esteem

15 Ways to Boost a Child’s Self-Esteem

Healthy self-esteem is something that most parents strive to instill in their children. Having “healthy self-esteem” means being able to acknowledge both the positive and the negative aspects of one’s self without feeling either superior or inferior. This trait has been linked to better outcomes in relationships, career, and general well-being. So how can parents help their children achieve healthy self-esteem? Here are 15 free and simple ways.

1. Make eye contact and smile when your child walks into the room.

Show your child that his or her presence is meaningful and enjoyable to you.

2. Praise her specific efforts and attempts instead of giving her constant general praise.

Tell her that you are proud that she ran every morning that seasons instead of only focusing on the fact that she got first place in the race or telling her she did a “great job.”

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3. Listen to your child.

Consider your child’s thoughts and perspectives to be valuable, even and especially when you disagree.

4. Give her some undivided attention each day.

Your child is valuable to you, and time with her should be prioritized and enjoyed.

5. Give your child age-appropriate jobs/responsibilities.

Your kid is a necessary part of the family.

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6. Empathize with you child when he or she is angry or sad.

Have empathy even and especially when she doesn’t get her way.

7. Always let your child know that it makes perfect sense that she feels the way she feels.

In other words, validate her feelings instead of trying to tell her she shouldn’t feel that way.

8. When discipline is necessary, lead and conclude with the lesson behind the discipline, not anger and punishment.

Explain to your child why telling the truth is very, very important, and that the consequences he or she experienced are not to punish him or her but to help him or her to remember not to lie.

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9. Don’t solve your child’s problems for him or her.

Get in the habit of asking your child what his or her suggestions are for dealing with disappointments  and problem-solving. Offer your ideas as a consultant, not a rescuer. Your kid does not immediately need a rescuer; It has good thoughts of its own.

10. Let your child fail and let it get back up.

When your child loses her earbuds, he or she can handle earning money for new ones instead of having you replace them. Your child can handle going to summer school to make up the grade instead of you calling the teacher to make an arrangement to bring the grades up.

11. After your child disappoints, acts out, or makes a mistake, discipline and each, and then let it go.

Offer criticism, redirection, and consequences with a matter-of-fact tone. Discipline is for teaching, not for demonstrating disdain, dispelling frustration, and holding grudges.

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12. Meet your child where it’s at without making him or her feel like an idiot.

If your kid struggles with staying on task while cleaning his or her room, calmly make a chart. If your child struggles with simple division, but the rest of the class is on long-division, patiently break out the flash-cards.

13.Hear your child out and give him or her the benefit of the doubt.

If your child is caught smoking at school, instead of treating him or her like a disrespectful sociopath, allow him or her to remind you of what it was like to just want to fit in and be accepted (before providing discipline.)

14.  Share stories about when you were younger and you made mistakes.

Your child is not a terrible person for taking a quarter out of Mom’s purse; It just needs to be taught the lesson, the same way Mom was taught when she was young.

15. Say “I’m sorry,” when you make mistakes or lose your cool.

“Imperfection” is okay for parents and it’s okay for your child, too.

Featured photo credit: greyerbaby via mrg.bz

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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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