When our children start school they’re suddenly introduced to a whole new world.
There are new social expectations to learn about, new relationships to navigate and new challenges to face.
For a lot of children these things can give their self-esteem a bit of a knock, and leave them feeling a bit down on themselves. If you’re worried about this with your child, then here are three things you can try to help give their self-esteem a boost.
1. Help them develop a positive mindset and positive self-talk
When you talk to your child about their day, encourage them to focus on the positives. And if they faced any issues, talk them through with them and work together to come up with solutions and ways to move forwards.
Be careful of the way you talk about your child too. Let them hear you describe them in positive terms. Talk to them about how strong they are, how hard they work, how great it is that they’re kind and thoughtful. The way you talk to them will play a huge part in how they talk to themselves.
You also need to be very careful of the way you talk to yourself in front of them.
If they hear negative self-talk from you, like ‘I’m useless at this’, ‘I look awful’, ‘I can’t do this’, then they’ll start to think that it’s ok to talk to themselves negatively too.
2. Keep an eye on who they spend time with
There’s a saying that you become the average of the five people you spend your time with. And while I’m not sure how true this really is, I do know that most of us are influenced by the people we hang out with.
So keep an eye on the friendships that your child is forming.
Encourage them to spend time with people who are positive and who build them up, rather than knock them down. Teach to stand up for themselves and to walk away from friendships that don’t feel healthy and supportive.
3. Encourage them to try new things
One of the best things we can all do to boost our self-esteem is to try new things.
It’s scary at first but we get so much out of realising that we’re improving and making progress with something as we learn more about it.
So encourage your child to try new sports, to go along to different clubs at school, to have a go at a new craft activity. Groups like the cubs are also great for giving them the chance to try out all kinds of new activities.
Work on developing a growth mindset, so that they learn to think about challenges and new things in a positive way. It’s all about them realising that they can’t do something YET, but with time and effort they’ll crack it.
When they realise what they’re capable of their self-esteem will get a real boost, and they’ll find it easier to step out of their comfort zone next time.
Which of these things do you think would have the biggest impact on your child’s self-esteem?
What’s interesting to keep in mind is that our children are all different, and what will really help one child won’t have anywhere near as much impact for another.
I think trying new experiences will help Nerys develop a good sense of self-esteem, while encouraging a positive mindset and positive self-talk will be really important for Rhys. If one approach doesn’t seem to help much with your child, then move on and try something else that might work better with their personality and their nature.