"Self-care isn't selfish. It's self-esteem." Ashley Judd

Your parents and your parents' parents probably didn't consider self-respect at all. While parents of the past have always focused on rearing children to become doctors, accountants, and lawyers, never once did parents of the past consider checking in on their children's' emotional state. "How are you feeling today?" or "How has your day been so far?" are not questions that came to the mind of older parents. However, parents like you, are starting to realise that the way we rear our children needs to change. For one, we cannot place our full emphasis on academic performance.

Checking in on the emotional wellbeing of  our children is essential. Social media has taught us that fostering self respect in our kids is important. It matters if our children think that they are good enough or not. If your child lacks self esteem, this lack of self love will show up in his or her every interaction. You want to make sure that your child is ready for the real world: personally, academically,  socially, and emotionally.

Perhaps there are some tips and tricks below that can guide you to boost the self esteem of your child. We look at some parenting tips that will yield the best results if you make use of them and some parenting techniques that you rather stay away from altogether.

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How to Build Your Child's Self Esteem and Confidence without being Tiger Parents

Have you heard about tiger parenting?  Tiger parenting or the idea of it was introduced in a book by Amy Chua. It speaks about an authoritarian parenting style that is meant to lead to children who perform well academically.  While this method of parenting produce children who are hard working and ready for their futures, it is not an ideal parenting technique.

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Tiger moms create low esteem in their children
Tiger moms tend to foster low self-esteem by controlling every aspect of their child's life. Image by Gerhard G. from Pixabay

If you are using the, "tiger mom, " method coined by Amy Chua, the focus is on the end-result and the ideal is that your child will end up being the reason for your high self esteem.

While there are many benefits to this parenting style, there are many negative aspects of this parenting method. For one, while parents tend to be focusing on high achievement and setting high expectations for their children, they are actually harming their children in the process. The serious demands placed on children whose parents use this method causes self esteem issues in these children.

Again, tiger parents fail to recognise that there is so much more to a child than academics.

This parenting style aims to create an ideal child but then again there is no such thing as an ideal child. All children have their own flaws. It is for this reason that you should avoid adopting the tiger mom and dad parenting style. You should prevent over-controlling your child. Rather than controlling your child,  speak to your child. Find out what he or she is interested in. You don't want enroll your child into various extramural activities just because other parents are doing so.  Select extramural activities for your child wisely. If the child is interested in a particular sport or intellectual activity, he or she will work harder to excel at it.

The key to being a good parent is to show care and concern. It is important to go the extra mile in terms of your parenting duties but never to belittle your child into thinking that he or she is unable to make his or her own decisions.

As a parent, you have to put the ball in your child's court and let him or her decide on certain things. Allowing your child to make smaller decisions about his or her life will enable your child to gain a sense of confidence in his or her abilities. You must also show your child that his or her suggestions are valued in the home.  You do want to ensure that your child has positive self esteem and sometimes that is built when as a parent, you show your children that they are valued as individuals.

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Parenting Styles and Techniques to Use

There are many different parenting styles but some of them don't yield the best results. For one, permissive parents believe that children will always be children. They adopt a parenting style whereby they hardly ever establish rules and they tend to be more of their children's friends than parents. Permissive parenting produces children who lack self esteem.

On the hand, the authoritative parenting styles ensure that parents formulate positive relationships with their children and don't just set rules but also explain why there is a need for rules. This parenting style is best as children feel cared for but still understand the need for rules and adhering to proper behaviour.

It is best if you can provide guidance to your child but not take away your child's right to make his or her own decisions.  You should watch your child and ensure that he or she is not doing anything to hurt himself or herself. However,  you should let your child decide when the timing is right for certain things. Forcing your child to start taking archery lessons while your child is  already learning karate may make your child feel overwhelmed and may cause him or her to lose some self esteem.

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Applauding when your child learns new things is a confidence booster
Applauding accomplishments is a great way to build confidence in your children Image by dhanelle from Pixabay

You must choose to give your child the chance to do some things on his or her own in order to feel appreciated when you praise something good that he or she has done. Applaud accomplishments and provide positive reinforcement for the major things that your child has accomplished. 

Children can sense sincerity from a mile away, therefore, be sincere in your praise and make sure that you are not praising too much or too little. You want to give your child a fair share of praise so that he or she developes a positive sense of confidence. You don't, however, want to over do the praise as well then the praise might lose its core essence.

Remember the idea is to build the self esteem up of your child. So if you feel too overwhelmed to do this by yourself, try reading some books to help children build their self-esteem.

Boosting Self Esteem of Each Child in the Family

If you are a mum or dad of more than one child, you need to work on improving the self esteem of every child. You need to make sure that when you are praising one child in the family, you are not doing it to the detriment of other children in the home. You need to make sure that you are allowing each child to feel wanted, valued, and appreciated.

You also need to ensure that you love each child as a unique being with his or her own traits. If you have more than one child, be sure not to compare one child to another.

Picking at the flaws of one child while praising the flawlessness of the other child can result in the child that you are criticising to lose self esteem entirely.

Remember, children are always around other children and therefore when you are at home with your children, you must give each one of them your undivided attention and focus. 

Perhaps if one child likes cooking, get him or her in the kitchen so that you can spend time with that child alone and allow him or her to feel valued. Then find something that your other child likes so you can spend time alone with your other child too. In this way, you devote enough time to each child. During family time, make sure that you are giving enough attention to all the children and complimenting each one for what he or she is good at.

As parents, you cannot shy away from thanking your children for something they have done or helped with.

You are role modeling good practices to your children so never avoid self esteem building techniques which will lead to creating more respectful and considerate children too.

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Teach your child greater self-confidence by showing all of your feelings
Displaying a range of feeling is not a weakness but a way to lead your child to greater self-confidence Image by Gino Crescoli from Pixabay

You must feel free to express any emotion that you feel. It is important to be honest with your children. If you are feeling disappointed in your children, let them know.

It is important that you open up to your children and share your feelings with them so that they feel as if they can be vulnerable and share their emotions and feelings with you too.

It is especially important for children with a negative self esteem to open up to you so that you can find ways to assist them or reach out to a life coach for assistance.

Our Superprof tutors are also ready to step in and help build the self esteem of every child that they teach.

Teaching Confidence

If you teach your child that a prize or a loud applause is a reason to feel confident, you might be teaching your child that confidence must be linked to how other people perceive you. Thus if your child takes center stage and says a speech for a speech contest, he or she will start lacking confidence if he or she doesn't take a prize. You need to remind your child that taking center stage and speaking is an effort on its own. In this way, your child will feel more confident about his or her ability to speak in front of a crowd and not base his or her confidence on how others are viewing him or her.

Teach your child to take some time out and to positively affirm himself or herself.  Your child will only have a positive self esteem and a sense of self confidence if he or she sees his or her value. 

As it was said by Brian Tracy, "Self-esteem and self-love are opposite of fear; the more you like yourself, the less you fear anything."

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Laila

Laila is an enthusiastic English educator and a fun-filled freelance writer. She has accomplished her dream of getting her first book published and has managed to write over 1 000 000 words since beginning her freelance career. In her free time, she is a travel blogger who explores all South Africa has to offer.