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Self-Esteem: Father, Mother & Child (II)
( Young Children )
Aug 1998 Alan S.L. Wong

Self-Esteem: Father, Mother and Child (II)

Young Children

The foundations of self-esteem are laid early in life. The greatest influences on young children's self-esteem are the evaluations of others, especially his parents. During these early years, we parents play a major role in laying a solid foundation for a child's sense of identity and worth.

Here are some ways to help build our children's self-esteem:

  1. Do not use shame and label our children negatively.

    Words like "You are so hopeless" and "You are stupid." The danger is that these labels may stick to the children.

    Question for thought: What images are we reflecting to our children now?

  2. Don't compare one child with another.

    Help your child be himself ... to be the best that he can be ... not somebody else. Self-esteem is measured against some criteria. What criteria do we communicate (consciously or unconsciously) to our children? Often, it is our unrealistic expectations that cause a sense of failure in our children. You can help your child develop and maintain healthy self-esteem by helping him or her cope with failures and defeats. Let the child know that no matter what, you still love him.

  3. Cultivate independence and hence confidence.

    Develop in them an "I can do it" attitude. Train your child to be independent and give him responsibilities. Everything a child can do and do well contributes to a positive sense of self-worth.
Remember true self-esteem is rooted in a relationship with God. One major goal is to lead our children to Christ (see Chapter #10 of my book, "Building the Next Generation.")