Many thanks for this guest post on self-esteem in children. Enjoy!

Children can be cruel by calling each other names or making disparaging comments about one another. As an adult, you can process unkind comments made to or about you without them affecting you deeply. You may want to know how to encourage children to feel good about themselves; these ten suggestions may help in that endeavor.

Feeling good about yourself simply means liking or believing in yourself and your abilities. It is developed as we love and care for our children which reinforces their importance in our lives. They see themselves through our eyes as they grow. Having a supportive and loving family will help them develop and maintain this vital self-worth.

The following are things parents can do to encourage children to feel good about themselves:

1. Tell your child that you love them often and sincerely. Let them know how glad you are about the person they’re becoming.

2. Spend time with your child. Listen to what they have to say. Support their dreams by being an active participant in their life. Your presences show their importance because time is a precious commodity.

3. Expect their best without expecting perfection. You can expect their best effort in school; however, accepting a lower grade as their best is important if they have worked hard for that grade. No one is perfect; expecting perfection damages their self-esteem rather than encouraging it.

4. Take an interest in your child’s schoolwork by being supportive. Help them with homework but don’t do it for them. Support after-school activities or volunteer at events in which they participate.

5. When helping your child with schoolwork, try to focus on more than the areas they’re struggling with. Give them the opportunity to show you their strengths. This will bolster their confidence before tackling something they may not be well-versed in yet.

6. Encourage them to have friends over. Make their friends feel welcome and take an interest in them. Allowing your child’s friends in your home also lets you see what type of influence your child’s friends will have on your child.

7. Children want to feel they have something to contribute. Expect them to help with family chores at their level. Younger children can fold clean clothes or set the table for dinner. Older children can do chores which don’t require your supervision. It’s also important for your child to be responsible for cleaning up their own messes, including keeping their bedroom clean.

8. Ask your child to help you with something. With all the new technology today, they’re probably better than you at some skills. Getting their help on a project requiring technology could whet their appetite for a new hobby as well as helping you with something important.

9. Allow your child the opportunity to fail. Children learn problem-solving skills by having to figure things out for themselves. If you solve your child’s problems, they won’t learn these skills.

10. Celebrate their achievements and successes. Encourage them with positive reinforcement. Be sure, however, that your praise is genuine as children are able to tell the difference between genuine praise and platitudes.

Children, like adults, want to know they are accepted and appreciated by those they love. Following some of these suggestions, you can learn how to encourage children to feel good about themselves. Once you’ve learned, don’t forget to put the suggestions into practice and watch your child’s self-esteem soar.

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