If you had to pick one aspect of a person’s upbringing that can lead to their success in life and overall happiness, it would have to be how deeply their self-esteem and self-belief foundations are laid. Parents who create these feelings of self-worth in their children and adolescents are sowing the seeds for future confidence, mental health and social happiness.
Psychologists are experts in how the early stages of brain development affect the adult later in life and speaking with a psychologist can arm you with tools to lead a happier life. Poor self-esteem very often leads to behavioural problems. Children and adolescents who like themselves often get along with others better and this often is further reflected in how they perform at school, work and in their relationships.
Promoting your child’s self belief and confidence doesn’t mean creating an arrogant, egotistical or narcissistic person. Helping your child build self-confidence is vital, but it needs to be done with a realistic understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. Encouraging children to use their strengths, while working to improve the weaknesses or negative areas is a healthy approach to character building.
What can parents do?
Raising children is a tricky business. When it comes to instilling self-esteem in children you need to start with yourself. If you don’t have confidence in yourself, it is possible that you will pass that on to your child. Building your own self-esteem and confidence and being a positive role model for your child or adolescent can make a big difference. Seeing a psychologist can help you unlock the reasons for your low self-esteem.
Showing respect to your child is vital. Simple things like the way you play with them and talk to them make a difference.
Being realistic about your child and their abilities is also important. They might not be good at the things you were good at as a child, their genetics are a lottery for what has been passed on to them from their parents. Recognise what your child’s special talents are, help them build on these strengths and the whole person will flourish. One thing is for sure, your child can excel at being themselves if you let them. They need to know that your love does not depend on their performance.