Note to reader: Children with low self esteem often struggle with anxiety. As parents and caregivers we can do little things along the way to boost our child’s confidence. When we as parents realize that children more capable is a good thing ..we send a message of trust and confidence to our children that translates into self-esteem. I love the following example. Thanks Shara!
By Shara Lawrence-Weiss
An effective way to boost a child’s self esteem is to give them a little power: a little “Yes! You can try that – go for it!”
During my years as a nanny (16+) there was oftentimes a common theme among parents:
“My child isn’t ready for that yet. You will need to do it for him/her.”
[Scroll down for the play-by-play] I would smile, politely, and then go about my business of allowing the child to do many things, all on his/her own. Rather than get the shoes from the closet I’d say, “Can you get the BLUE shoes for me, please? They are inside your closet. Go and find them and bring them back to me.”
A few moments later the child would return, blue shoes in hand (to the parent’s great amusement, of course).
Many parents (especially first time parents) assume that their child is needy: they must be protected from every possible harm, fall, injury, bruise, cut, scrape, hurtful moment and so on. While it’s perfectly understandable that the nurturing instinct sets in, we also need to realize that without the opportunity to learn, learning will not happen. If we offer those learning moments without being consumed by fear (under supervision when needed, yes), learning will happen! Your child will then feel a great sense of accomplishment, for a job well done.
Let me demonstrate, clearly…
Here is my own son, a few days back. He is currently 17 months old. He saw me using the pencil sharpener and begged to have a turn. My first response was, “No, you are not ready for this. You have no idea how to use it.” I then thought, “Well, isn’t that ridiculous? How will he LEARN to use it if I don’t let him try?” I moved the sharpener down to his level, handed him a bucket of pencils and said, “Jack – mommy needs these sharpened. Can you do that for me? That would be a BIG help! ” He plopped down, happy as ever, and began to sharpen every pencil in the tub:
One after the next – no problem whatsoever; Until every pencil had been sharpened:
The only problem now is that he believes he’s “King of the sharpener.” I have to explain to him that others need it, too.
Moral of this story:
Hold a child back and you’ll succeed at keeping them back. Give them opportunity to learn and…learning will be done.
About the Author:
Shara Lawrence-Weiss is the owner of Mommy Perks, Kids Perks and Personal Child Stories. She has a background in early childhood, nanny work, published freelance, marketing and special needs. Lots more at http://www.earlychildhoodnews.net and follow Mommy Perks on Twitter
Stories are a great way to help children believe in themselves. Teaching children about positive statements are part of the Children’s Relaxation Packages available for younger and older kids.