We all know how difficult growing up can be for any child. With today’s technology, it can be even trickier for kids to feel special and not focus on the wrong things when it comes to their self-esteem. For many parents, it is hard to convey how much we love our children and how great they are, because they are our children! Your kids most likely roll their eyes every time you highlight one of their good qualities. But instilling a good sense of self-esteem in a child at any age can help them grow into confident, daring, and prepared individuals as they grow up.

Growing Instead of Stagnant

A huge mindset you may want your child to realize at an early age is that growth is constant, and can lead to change. From a young age, many people start thinking about their accomplishments in terms of whether they did something right or wrong, or that they themselves are flawed. This person-oriented form of accomplishment can sometimes be a disadvantage, as people will think of themselves as “failures” if they do not do something correctly. This viewpoint can come into play during school very easily, even if it is not directly taught by teachers. 

Children should instead be taught or led more towards a goal-oriented mindset. This can be taught as not what they themselves did wrong, but how they can improve next time. Make sure to point out the good thoughts or actions of your children, and why these are good experiences or thoughts for them to have. Most people realize that positive reinforcement, such as compliments and explanations of what someone did that was good, can boost self-esteem dramatically. But when all a child is hearing is centered around what they are doing wrong, they begin to think that they are flawed, or at the very least, start to belittle their actions and second guess what they will do next.  

Skin Deep

For many children, self-esteem can root into how they look and perform more than anything else. School and hanging out with peers can sometimes perpetuate this mindset, as school is all about achievements and grades, while their classmates focus on excelling in sports and looking as beautiful and perfect as possible. What children may not grow up and realize is that beauty is not a set standard, and should not be viewed as an end goal of perfection. Make sure to always remind your children as they grow that beauty is what is inside their heart and mind, not what is on the outside. And be sure to remind them that perfection is not the end all either, no matter how glamourous and ideal it seems. 

Katie Kyzivat