Improving Children’s Self-Esteem

To learn how to improve your childrens’ self-esteem can involve a lot of different aspects, this is part 1 in a series of articles focused on helping you imrove your child’s self-esteem.

You child comes home with their report card and reluctantly passes it over to you. You already have a bad feeling in your stomach about what you’re about to see.

Just as you suspected, columns full of C’s and D’s.

Why can’t your child get better grades?

Your sister’s daughter, Nancy, is getting straight A’s. Why can’t your child do the same? You’re getting tired of being asked how your child’s doing in school and being seen as a bad parent because your child is doing poorly in school.

The frustration just makes your blood boil. You lose it.

You yell, “Why can’t you be more like your cousin Nancy!? She gets good grades, why can’t you?”

When you say that, do you know what’s going through your child’s brain? Do you know what she’s feeling at that moment?

At that moment, your child is thinking “I’m not good enough for you.” “I’m not worthy and I’m not as good as Nancy – I’m a lesser being than Nancy because she gets higher grades.”

Most likely your child won’t say anything. She’ll just go off and think that she is the one at fault and that she is not good enough. She won’t know what to do about it.

Each child is different. In fact, each person is different. So, comparing one child to another is like comparing apples to oranges.

Don’t compare children to others – “Why can’t you be more like John/Nancy?” is never a good way of changing your child’s behavior or magically turning them into someone else. What you’re doing by saying that is that “you’re not good enough, why can’t you be this person instead of you?”

You may not mean it – but that’s what you’re communicating in your message.

So what do you do?

First, be aware of not comparing your child to other children.

Acknowledge and agree with your child that there is a problem but it can be resolved.

Help your child find a solution to the problem. They are looking to you for guidance even though they may not voice it. You are the parent, so you must take the initiative to help them.

While we can’t go in-depth on how to improve your child’s self-esteem in one article, we’ll be continuing to look at this topic in future articles.