Healthy self-esteem is like a child’s armour against the challenges of the world. In the early years a child is still developing ideas about himself. These are largely based on his interactions with others. These opinions that a child has about himself forms his self-esteem.
Lynn van Jaarsveld, Principal of Trinityhouse Pre-Primary Little Falls, gives some guidelines to help build a positive self-esteem:
- make rules that are reasonable
- praise accomplishments—rather than ignore and punish
- remember the value of positive statements
- be neither over-protective nor under-protective
- help your child to deal with failure in a constructive manner
- show your child that you love them
- affirm your child’s worth
- spend time, plenty of time with your child
- pray with your child
- encourage independence
- teach your child responsibility
- never make comparisons between children
- don’t expect perfection
- Most important of all, is to have fun with your preschooler.
Kids who know their strengths and weaknesses and feel good about themselves seem to have an easier time handling conflicts and resisting negative pressures. They tend to smile more readily and enjoy life. These kids are realistic and generally optimistic. Taking responsibility and pride in who you are as parents is a sure sign of healthy self-esteem and the greatest gift you can give to your child.
By Lynn van Jaarsveld (Principal of Trinityhouse Pre-Primary Little Falls)