How to support children and young people’s self confidence and self-esteem
Self-esteem is a way a child feels about themselves. Everyone has it in different degrees. A child with high self-esteem generally feels good about themselves and feels they have a lot to offer. A child with low or poor self-esteem generally feels worthless and that they have little to contribute. Without positive self-esteem it is highly unlikely that a child would have a full, happy and productive life. The development of self-esteem starts very early in life. For example, when a child learns to walk or talk they feel a sense of having achieved something. Praise and encouragement at this point from parents, or people important in their life, boosts the positive feelings they have about themselves and encourages the child to go on achieving. Love, praise and encouragement are essential elements in helping a child develop a positive self-esteem.
* Be positive and affirming of the child/young person in all situations.
* Believe in the child/young person and show it - let them know they are a worthwhile, lovable individual.
* Give praise and positive feedback – children and young people measure their worth and achievements by what other people think of them. For example, you might say "Well done, that was hard, and you managed it".
* Reassure them that it's OK to make mistakes and that it's all part of growing up. Avoid being too critical - this directly damages confidence.
* Acknowledge their feelings - and help them express their feelings in words. For example, encourage them to say, "I'm upset because..." or "I feel happy when...”
* Focus on strengths, not weaknesses highlight the things they are good at
* Respect the child's interest’s comment to show you're listening.
* Accept that their anxieties are real to them, e.g. fear of monsters in the dark - even if they seem trivial to you, don't just brush them aside. ...