“I wish I looked like Livy.” “I just don’t understand anything we are taught. I am dumb,”. “I can’t….”
Most parents have had these statements come from their children’s mouth, and as a parent that is one of your lowest times.
You wish your little toddler would see all the love you have for her, and the amazing little person she is.
The only problem is that you don’t know what to say or do to change her attitude.
Self-esteem issues can affect a pre-schoolers performance, and if not solved, she could carry it on in her life, affecting her well-being.
What Is Self-Esteem?
In psychology, we define self-esteem as the self-worth and value that we put ourselves.
It’s what we think of ourselves.
It is how much we like and appreciate who we are.
So, why should you be worried about what your children think of herself? A lot changes as we grow, right? I mean she will eventually know her self-worth. This is what many parents think, and it ruins their children’s future.
As much as it may have “minimal” impact now, they grow up with the feelings of worthlessness. This may prevent them from reaching their potential.
A child can either have high or low self-esteem. Kids with high self-esteem build healthy relationships and are more confident compared to kids suffering from low self-esteem.
Although low self-esteem has no direct impact on a child’s academic performance, it affects her overall school life and her happiness.
Building Self-Esteem In Kids
Self-esteem development begins at a very tender age. Parents or guardians being the closest people in a toddler’s life determine on which side of the scale they fall.
As a parent, how you treat your tot and what you say to her has a huge impact on them. How she feels from the actions and words, act as the foundation of her self-esteem.
Here are a few tips you may use to grow the self-esteem of your child;
- Show your kid some affection. Children want to feel loved and cherished. There is nothing you have to invest in making this happen. Sometimes just a smile is enough. Make a habit of hugging and kissing your tot. Kids who feel loved have confidence and always speak out their mind.
- Teach your child to handle both her weaknesses and strengths in a healthy way. Encourage her to grow her talents whenever she gets a chance. Show her that her gift is something to be grateful for. Also, teach her to accept her weaknesses without beating herself up and healthy ways of managing them.
- Make your toddler understand there is both failure and success. We all want our children to succeed, but we know that not all times the dime roll on our favor. This is why you need to let your kid know that losing sometimes is okay and is part of the growing process.
- Teach your kid something new. Learning a new skill can be very empowering. It brings a sense of success and fulfillment, which are both ingredients of good self-esteem. It can be fixing a small dish, cleaning utensils after a meal, or gardening – anything you may think of that she can handle.
- Give her a chance to make her choices once in a while. The power to choose makes her feel trusted and responsible for the consequences that come with the options. You can start by letting her decide what you make for dinner and the clothes she wears after her bath. As she grows, allow her to make other life choices.
- Problem-solving. Once we come up with a solution to something that has been giving us a headache, we feel confident in facing life. As much as you love your baby and want to do everything you can to make her life smooth – the next time she has a problem, give her the chance to come up with a solution by herself.
- It’s not too early to teach your child about the importance of self-care. Educate her on the need for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and grooming well. These factors have a huge impact on an individual’s self-confidence.
- Let her try out new things. Your child is in her discovery stage, and she is likely to show interest in new ideas. It may be playing the guitar – when no one in your family plays any instrument. Allow her; it is her unique way of molding her personality.
Note that although encouraging and praising your child may seem like a good thing – overdoing it may hurt her esteem. She may begin doing things for the sake of getting the “awesome” and “very good.” It is therefore vital that you know which extent of praise is safe.
Self-Esteem Games And Activities For Kids
Praise alone may not give you the desired results but topping it with some activities and games may just bring some magic.
We have combined some activities and games that will help boost the self-esteem and confidence of your kid.
1. “I AM” Activity
Every word that follows the words “I AM” has so many emotions and explain how we feel about who we are.
This activity will help you know how your child feels about herself
What You Need
Drawing paper, adjective cutouts from magazines, color pen, and glue.
Ask your child to write down words that describe her. The words can either be positive or negative.
Secondly, on a different paper tell her to write the good things people say to her and focus on them.
On the center of the paper, glue the picture of your child.
Tell her to cut out positive adjectives that she relates with on one magazine and fill the surrounding of her photo.
Put the photo with the positive words in a place she can see every day to reinforce the beliefs.
2. List Everyday Wins
Seeing the many things we have accomplished no matter how small shows us that we have what it takes to get things done.
Here is an activity that will help your child enjoy her wins and stay motivated
Give your child a piece of paper and a pen.
Tell her to list down all the wins she has had
Leave a space at the bottom of the paper and let her update her list every day.
3. Family Activity
You can do this activity with friends and relatives.
You will only need pens, index papers, and a box
Tell the participants to stay in a circle
Tell them to take an index paper each and write down their name
Shuffle the papers and let each member take a piece of paper with a name other than theirs
Ask everyone to write a positive thing about the person whose name is on that paper
When everyone has written something positive about the person, let them pass the paper to the next person until everyone has written something positive on everyone’s paper.
Give the index papers back to the owners and let them read what good things other people see in them.
4. I am Scared, But…
Nothing takes much from us than fear. Here is an activity that will help your child face fear bravely.
Give her a piece of paper and tell her to write what she is scared of like;
I am scared of performing in the class singing session because I may not be as good as other kids.
Ask them to complete the sentence with “a so what?” attitude like
I am scared of performing in the class singing session because I may not be as good as other kids. But so what? I will still do my best and had fun.
Playing the worst scenario that could happen in her head helps her digest it and take away power from it.
In return, she can confidently try out new things.
5. Chore with a Purpose
You can build your baby’s self-esteem by giving them chores. I mean the only reason a person would trust you in doing an important task is because he trusts you will do it the right way.
Make a list of activities that your child can do around the house. It can be feeding the house pet.
Everyday compliment her after she is done. If she makes a mistake correct her but don’t dwell on it.
What we think about ourselves, we become. Unfortunately, this theory does not except kids.
Here is an activity that can help replace the negative thoughts of your child with positive thoughts.
Ask your child what she is worried about and why. It may be her exams because she thinks she is not brilliant enough to pass.
Ask her to imagine what her ideal results would be and how she would feel if she got the results – and write that down.
Tell her to close her eyes and imagine herself in the ideal situation.
Lastly, ask her to write about how she felt about herself during the visualization.
7. Positive Self-talk
As much as other people may say good things about us, if we are constantly saying negative things to ourselves – we still don’t feel good.
We are mostly what we think and say to ourselves.
To discourage the negative self-talk of your kid. Do the following activity;
Make two columns on a piece of paper, one for negative self-talk and another for positive self-talk.
Ask your child to list down all the bad things she says about herself.
Lastly, ask her to change every negative statement into a positive one on the side of each negative.
Children are fragile, as they learn, they mold who they become in the future. An old dog can still learn new tricks, but it takes longer than a younger one.
Why not focus on changing the negative mentality of your child now and save them the agony of feeling inadequate in their future life?
The above-discussed activities will help improve your kid’s self-esteem choose one or two and commit on creating time for doing it every day.