Self-esteem is critical to a child’s success. While a good education opens doors, it is self-esteem that turns the knob. Simply put, self-esteem is how you feel about yourself. And for many kids, classroom learning is difficult because they lack the fundamental belief that they are good enough and smart enough. As the first line of human contact, parents help shape a child’s self-esteem. According to psychologist Alduan Tartt, Ph.D, “Parents are absolutely integral to ensuring that their children have healthy self-esteem.” He stresses that our primary responsibility as parents is to engage in consistent and purposeful parenting practices that improve how our children feel about themselves.
Here are Dr. Tartt’s 5 ways to boost your child’s self-esteem…
Introduce your children to God and their unique purpose on this Earth. It’s difficult to feel special without knowing that you were created intentionally and born out of unconditional love. Countless children struggle with depression because they lack a sense of purpose.
Help your children find their unique and special gift. Everyone is blessed with at least one superior gift. When your children recognize their gift, it increases their self-esteem because they have tangible evidence that they are indeed special and unique.
Make a daily ritual of expressing appreciations at dinner time. We often forget that a particular attribute is a skill until we receive a compliment about it. Telling your children what you appreciate about them affirms that they are special in your eyes. Start by telling your children that you appreciate their patience, self-discipline, composure, passion, wit, compassion, humor, etc. They need to HEAR those appreciations in order to feel great about themselves.
Help your children find their “element.” We are all gifted in the right environment. If your child has a gift of performing arts then place them in special schools and classes that enhance that skill. The friends of your children are also integral to their sense of self-esteem. So placing them around like-minded peers who understand them will help them to continue developing positive friendships and relationships.
Increase the amount of time your children spend with their father. Research proves that the amount of positive time children spend with their father is the single biggest indicator of future success. If possible, help facilitate a better relationship and quality time between your child and their dad.
Essence Contributor, Lakeia Brown