Question

Boosting A School Age Child Self-Esteem

How can I help my child develop a positive self-image?

A Answers (2)

  • ARealAge answered

    Initiating conversations with your children let them know that you’re interested in their lives, respect what they have to say, and love them for who they are. Kids who have ongoing conversations with their parents are more likely to have healthy views of themselves.

    Here’s a really simple thing you can do to help boost your child’s self image: Ask his opinion. Showing interest in what your child thinks about anything -- from which movie to see or what color to paint the bedroom -- will help him feel like an important and valued part of your family.

    From Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg.

  • AMichele Borba, Psychology, answered

    Start by tuning into your child. Look for a special talent, trait, skill or passion in your child that deserves praise. Maybe you notice your child displays an artistic skill.

    Next, find a moment when he really demonstrates the talent. This is when you can acknowledge the skill.

    Voice your message so your child knows exactly what he did to deserve your praise: “Kevin, you are so artistic because you use such wonderful colors and details in your drawings.” And always use the same word to describe the talent (”artistic” or “musical” or “kind-hearted.”)

    Using the word “because” in your comment instantly makes your praise more specific.

    Then, praise the same skill or talent several more times over the next few weeks. That way your child will then be more likely to believe the message, and adopt it to form a new belief about himself.

    Keep in mind that new behavior habits take a minimum of 21 days of repetition. The lower the self-esteem of the child the more frequently you’ll have to repeat the praise.
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