Are you concerned that your child doesn’t have confidence in herself? Does she have difficulty standing up for herself, or maybe she gives up when the going gets tough? It could be that she has low self-esteem.
Having good self-esteem enables your child to persevere through frustrating tasks, set goals for herself, make good decisions in the face of difficult situations, and choose positive relationships over negative ones.
You are an integral part in creating and enhancing self-esteem in your child.
Think of yourself like a coach. Your words become the tape that loops through your child’s mind. So what you say matters!
So how do you instill good self-esteem in your child? Keep reading below for five valuable statements that you should frequently say to your child to help boost her self-esteem.
You have a voice and it’s OK to use it.
How it boosts self-esteem: Being able to communicate thoughts and feelings are important! When you tell your child you want to hear what’s on her mind, you’re letting her know her words matter. So when she needs to stand up to bullies or is experiencing peer pressure, she’s got the courage to do so.
You are supported.
How it boosts self-esteem: Your child will know that whatever the road she has to walk, you are right beside her with your support and guidance. If she know she’s not alone, she will feel more empowered to reach out for help and conquer whatever is in her way.
It’s OK to have difficult feelings.
How it boosts self-esteem: Uncomfortable and difficult feelings tend to get stuffed down and labeled as “not OK.” Your child may be thinking to herself “I shouldn’t feel this way, and then end up feeling bad about herself. When you give her permission to accept those difficult feelings, you’re giving her permission to accept herself.
You are loved.
How it boosts self-esteem: Even though you know you love your child, sometimes this message gets lost for her in the daily minutia of constant discipline and directives. Feeling cared for gives her mind peace and stability, allowing her to flourish and grow into a thriving young adult.
You are perfect the way you are.
How it boosts self-esteem: Your child lives in a world where there are constant messages from peers, teachers, and social media that she has to do better, be better, look better. Especially in the tween and teen years there’s so much pressure for her to be somebody else, which can really be a blow to her self-esteem. Your child shouldn’t minimize her natural talents, abilities, and characteristics that make her…well, her. Your child needs to hear from you that she doesn’t have to change in order to fit it.
Bottom line: If you’ve noticed that your child’s self-esteem has dropped so much that it’s affecting her grades, her decision making, or her relationship with you, please don’t hesitate to reach out for professional help.
Jenmarie Eadie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who is passionate about helping children to become less stressed by giving them and their parents tools, support and encouragement. She received her Master’s in Social Work from Arizona State with a dual concentration in Children, Youth, and Families; and Behavioral Health. Her proudest accomplishment is following her dream of opening up a practice that is designed to focus on the whole family. She currently serves families in Southern California.