How To Develop Your Child’s Self-Esteem
It is important to remember when raising a child that while it may not seem so, they do listen to everything you say and take everything you say to heart. Because of this it is very easy for an adult to “break” a child and cause them to be anxious, withdrawn and shy.
Research has shown that the first five years of a child’s life can be the most important when it comes to learning. During those first five years it is paramount to keep learning fun and to encourage the child with praise and direction. A child who hears from a caregiver that they are “stupid” will believe what they are told, and if the abusive language is repeated the child may stop trying to learn altogether to avoid the negative feedback. The child that is given praise for what they are doing will continue doing that which makes their caregiver happy. If a child is having difficulty learning a particular task it may be time for a break as the attention span of a child, particularly when they are young is usually quite short.
It is also important to remember that learning does not stop or start at school; it must be started in the home environment long before a child goes off to school and should continue at home even when school is out. Projects that use a child’s creativity such as making ornaments for a Christmas tree, making lanterns for the Chinese New Year, or creating skeletons out of uncooked pasta for El Dia de los Muertos (the Mexican Day of the Dead) are ways to keep the brain active while school is out of session and can also teach about other cultures. Taking field trips to the park and identifying bugs, birds or plants is another way of adding knowledge about nature. The key is to make the learning experience enjoyable for the child which will encourage them to learn more, feel empowered and have greater self-esteem.
Adding music to a child’s education can help to boost their self esteem, as it causes them to learn how to work within a group and learn a new skill. An education in music can also lead to a career path as there are dozens of jobs which use a musical education as a foundation, such as a sound engineer or recording artist.
Maintaining harmony in the home is another key element to building a child’s self-esteem. If there is constant arguing or violence in the home it will cause a child to become withdrawn, or may cause them to seek approval from other sources which in turn could lead to child abuse. It is easy for a child to become the victim of abuse from others if they are not getting the attention they need at home. A child with low self-esteem can be a target for predators.
There may be times when a caregiver is unsure about what is causing a child to become withdrawn; in that case a professional therapist may need to be involved. A counselor or therapist may be able to determine what is causing the child stress (such as bullies at school, or educators the child doesn’t get along with), and provide a course of action that will help the child to feel better about the situation and themselves.
It can be hard for the adults in a household who work during the day to come home and start another full-time job as caregiver, but that is exactly what a person signs up for when they decide to have children. Raising a child to become a caring, giving part of our society is one of the best things a person can do for our world.
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