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Building Self-esteem in Kids

Building Self-esteem in KidsAs Kareena Kapoor, essaying the role of Geet in Jab We Met says so succinctly, “Main apni favourite hoon.” (I am my favourite person).

Now that is what I call high self-esteem without blundering into the mine field of egotism.

I have seen many children, enormously gifted, hesitate under the cloud of self-doubt. “Will I be able to do it?” “That is too high for me to achieve” or just simply “I don’t look nice.”

It is important that a kid thinks well of herself. The logic is extremely simple. If you do not think highly of yourself, why should others? It is therefore important that the child feels she is better than others. A healthy level of assurance needs to be cultivated in every child. This has to be done early on because it gets increasingly harder later on to cure a doubting Thomas.

Also Read: Do our Kids have too much Self-Esteem?
What, as parents, can we do?

Firstly do not unnecessarily pull down the child, especially in front of company. Constant ridicule makes it difficult for the child to believe in himself. The thought process becomes – if my parents find me so bad, I really must be awful. On the other hand, it is wonderful to watch a child bloom in the light of praise for a work well done. It increases the self-confidence and boosts up the morale. So small doses of applause now and then are definitely warranted.

Try and involve the child in small decision-making exercises of the household. Ask their choice and opinion on small things. Make it a point to listen when they are giving feedback. Implement some suggestion if acceptable. I remember when I was a teen, my parents were getting some furniture made. We all threw ideas around. I was so thrilled when my suggestion about the design of a couch was liked by all and implemented. Each time there was a guest, my parents very proudly declared that I was the designer of that couch.Even now when I look at that particular couch, the thrill of acknowledgement and self-worth shoots through me. Next time on if I had an idea, there was no hesitation in bringing it forth. Nothing to buoy your self-esteem up more than a healthy bout of praise.

Also Read: Parent-Talk that Raises Self-Esteem
The world is full of mean people trying to bring down others. Let me tell you this is not restricted to adults only. Children can be equally, if not more vicious. I used to take my daughter for tennis coaching. There were about seven to eight kids in batch. There was this girl, all cute bobby pins and shorts, who was also in the same batch. As I watched from afar, I saw this girl talking earnestly to my daughter. This conversation was upsetting my daughter no end. Soon she was on the verge of tears. She missed quite some shots during her turn which resulted in more conversation. While we were walking back home, my daughter burst out that she was not returning to the tennis lesson the next day.


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Sia Mitra is a freelance writer and blogger with more than a decade of experience. She has written for most major publications like Femina, Prevention, Complete Well-being, Child, Mother & Baby, Parent & Child, Womens Era, etc.

2 thoughts on “Building Self-esteem in Kids

  1. Preetha Kumar

    You are right Sia. Building self-esteem at early age is very important. For kids, what they hear is what they beleive; what they believe is what they become. Thanks!


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