How can you raise your child's self-esteem?

The simply answer to this question is to love them more by doing less. 

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Yes that's right!

As parents we tend to worry and ponder, talk to our friends, read books, listen to podcasts all in a loving attempt to make the problem go away, to fix it and hope that by so doing, they will be happier. 

"What can I do?" we ask ourselves. 

This is the question clients often ask me. They want answers. But when we do that, we are looking for answers in the wrong place. What if the answer was with our child or teen? What if they have the answer? 

When we assume the answer is outside of them, we confirm that they don't know what to do, that they are in a 'not knowing' place, a 'poor me' space and the result of this is to lower their self-esteem and confirm their worst suspicions, that they are not able to sort this out, they need you. 

Now that can make us feel special and needed, and whilst that might be natural when your child is young, as they get to 10-years-old and are heading off to secondary school, it isn't very helpful for them to need you to sort things out for them. They need to find their voice, express their needs, ask their teacher for help, tell a bully to go away and so on. 

You can prepare them for this by doing the following:

1. Avoid asking them about their day with a worried face, as they may focus on what went wrong if that's what you usually pay more attention to, which tends to happen when we're worried about our children. Instead, just make it clear that you're there if they want to talk about anything but that you hope they had a good day. Let them know you'd love to hear what went well because that will tend to make them look out for what went well during the day so they can tell you when they get home. 

2. Assume they know the answers. When they tell you of a problem, ask them what they think they could do about it.

  • What do you think would be a good thing to do about this?  
  • What choices are there?
  • Would someone else see it the same way?

3. When they tell you someone has 'been mean' or similar, ask them "in what way?" or "what happened just before they were mean?". Find out some details because it's possible that there could be another meaning of the situation.

If your child has low self-esteem, the slightest thing can make them assume the worst. When you get them to break down what happened before and try and see it from another perspective, they will calm down and realise that maybe they have catastrophised and perhaps it wasn't 'all about them' at all. 

I'm the author of Empower your Kids! A coaching guide for parents which covers all the issues you're likely to experience and how to empower your kids to grow their self-esteem by you responding differently, trusting they have the answer.

Life Coach Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Slough SL1 & Hove BN3
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Written by Judy Bartkowiak, NLP Trainer&Master Prac. EFT Trainer&Advanced Prac. Reiki
Slough SL1 & Hove BN3

Judy Bartkowiak is an NLP & EFT Trainer and Therapist working with children, teens and parents with anxiety and low self-esteem.

Contact Judy for training as an NLP Kids Practitioner or EFT Practitioner.

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Free resources for parents on website.

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