Read our monthly parenting e-newsletter for February 2022, featuring tips and strategies for families with young children.
Have you ever thought about what positive self-esteem looks like in your child? Children are not born with a high or low self-esteem – they must learn how to feel good about themselves. Did you know that there are many ways you can help your child grow a sense of security and belonging as early as infancy? Here are some small but significant ways you can impact how your child thinks of themselves and their ability to do things.
- Show your child love and acceptance by spending lots of time with them and giving lot of affection. This shows your child that they are important and cared for.
- Play with your child and listen when they talk. Show interest in your child’s activities, projects, or problems. Let them guide play and be willing to do the things they want to do. Playing teaches your child new skills and how to interact with others and gives them confidence to try new things.
- Provide routine and structure every day. Enforce limits and clear expectations. Tell children what you expect and the consequences if rules are not followed. This helps your child feel safe and secure and gradually helps them start to feel confident in making decisions for themselves.
- Praise and encourage your child. Encourage them to try new things. Point out that it takes practice and patience to learn a new skill. Praising your child’s efforts and recognizing their strengths will help them feel confident in trying new things as they grow.
- Provide your child with opportunities of responsibility around the house. Giving your child age-appropriate chores even as a toddler will show that they have an important role in the household.
- Be a role model for your child. Show them what it looks like to love yourself. Show them that you can try new things and handle success and setbacks. Show your child the importance of patience, practice and persistence in your own life.
As a parent, you are the single most significant influence in your child’s life. Building your child’s self-esteem is crucial in their growth and mental health. Reach out to your child’s pediatrician if you see signs that your child is struggling with self-esteem and they can help you find local resources to help with mental health at any age.
- What Parents Need to Know About Self-Esteem, from The Center for Parenting Education
- Your Child’s Self-Esteem, from KidsHealth.org
- Developing Self-Confidence from Birth-12 Months, from ZERO TO THREE
- Watch: Building Your Child’s Self-Esteem, from Canadian Pediatric Society
- 10 Books that Build Self-Esteem in Kids
Local and Online Events
The following resources in Greater Dayton and Greater Cincinnati can help you and your child connect during the cold winter weather!
- Storytime at the Library: Check out the virtual and in-person storytime offerings from Cincinnati Public Library.
- Create Art At Home – Online Resource: The Dayton Art Institute hosts a Learning Library Online that is full of art-making lessons, projects and educational materials for learners of all ages.
- Black History Month Young Portrait Explorers hosted by the National Portrait Gallery: Virtual Workshops Weekly on Wednesdays in February
- Black History Month for Kids: Virtual Weekly on Thursdays in February
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