Helping Children Feel Good in their Own Skin
People with a low self-image tend to be more anxious, depressed, lonely, jealous, and shy. Studies show that low self-regard has been linked to a number of emotional and behavioral issues, such as problems with addiction. People with these problems are more likely to behave in ways that pose a danger to themselves and others.
Here are a few tips to boost your child’s self-esteem.
TEACH YOUR CHILD TO PRACTICE MAKING POSITIVE SELF-STATEMENTS: Negative self-talk spurs on depression and anxiety. Teach children to use positive self-talk, such as “Making mistakes is part of being human. Let me learn from what I did wrong, forgive myself, and move on.” It is important to model this as well.
BE GENEROUS WITH PRAISE: Try to point out your child’s strengths and good qualities, even in front of family or friends.
USE DESCRIPTIVE PRAISE: When you tell your child that he is doing something good, develop your statement and describe what he did well. “I really appreciate how you accepted my answer of ‘no’ and didn’t lose your temper.”
AVOID STINGING CRITICISM: Sometimes it is necessary and appropriate to comment on your child’s actions. However, these judgments can make them feel ashamed. Be delicate when treading on this territory, explain how their behavior makes you feel, and point out the benefits of doing things differently.
ALLOW CHILDREN TO MAKE DECISIONS: Part of what helps a person feel good about himself is the knowledge that he can solve a problem well and by himself. To assist this process, point out the repercussions for actions and when appropriate, stand back as you allow space for him to make his own choices.
POINT OUT THEIR STRENGTHS: Identify and develop your child’s talents; then, guide him to where he can best share and benefit from these gifts.
LOL: A good sense of humor and being able to make light of life are important ingredients for increasing one’s overall enjoyment and self-esteem, so laugh with your children and encourage them to laugh at themselves as well.
The SAFE Foundation is a New York State licensed OASAS outpatient treatment program located in Brooklyn, New York. We serve as a reliable haven for those experiencing difficulties with drug addiction, alcoholism, and compulsive gambling.