Children with healthy self-esteems try hard in school, get along well with others, hold a "can-do" attitude about life, and feel positive about their environment. They can accept the ups and downs of life graciously. The opposite is true of children who suffer from a low self-esteem. These children compare themselves to others and never feel they have done well enough. They are frustrated easily and fear risk and challenge. Children with low self-esteems can easily fall prey to peer pressure, eating disorders, and other dangers.
You can help a child who has a low self-esteem by examining the reasons behind it. You can also encourage a child who has a healthy self-esteem to maintain it. By using a positive, can-do attitude in your home, you will pass that attitude on to your child. Try the following ideas to encourage a positive self-esteem in your child.
EXAMINE YOURSELF AND YOUR ATTITUDE
Children learn by example. If you hold a high self-esteem and think positively, odds are your child will too. If you suffer from a low self-esteem you will need to examine your current patterns of thinking and work on changing them.
SEEK OUT THE POSITIVE
This does not mean you need to be a Pollyanna, but you should search for the positive side of things. When your child comes to you with a problem, ask questions in pursuit of the positive side. The same goes for how you act in your own endeavors. When things go wrong, look for the up side.
RELATE TO YOUR CHILD
Parents often will sit and tell the humorous stories of their past. There is much more your child may like to hear. When your child comes to you with a dilemma, share your own experience. Even though you may be years apart, your child may find relief that you have had similar times of self-doubt and concern.