Nurturing Your Child's Self-Worth

There's no arguing that being confident and self-assured makes most things in life easier to deal with. But haven't we all had to work on breaking through major insecurities and really search for this confidence at some point in our lives? As parents, we mums have a remarkable opportunity to make this process easier for our kids. Let's dive into a few ideas!
It turns out that children are sensitive to their own self-esteem from a very young age. The University of Washington's Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences recently found that preschoolers (kids as young as 5) had already developed either a positive or negative feeling about themselves to a measurable degree. 

Let's keep it real - children that young aren't doing anything they should feel bad about. How do we foster the right interactions and environment that encourages kids to grow up into adults who are comfortable in their own skin? Well, that's an essential question that every generation of mums comes to ask of themselves and each other. And now, it's our turn.
Every child is unique and confidence comes easier to some of us than others, but let's look at a few ideas that might help;
New Skills Unlocked

Children find new obstacles at every age - we need to help them learn the skills they need to overcome them. Skills can definitely lend to a sense of self-worth, from learning to hold a cup as a baby to reading or riding a bike as they get older. Find challenges that are not easy, nor too hard, show them how it's done and then allow them to do it as best they can. Let them try, make mistakes and feel proud about overcoming them.

The Feedback Loop 
Obviously, praise and encouragement are the best way to go when inspiring a child to take on a challenge. However, we need to also be honest with them; praise that isn't earned will never feel as good. It might even be confusing. Instead, we can always praise effort and hard work, while acknowledging that any skill takes a while to learn and that if they persevere, they will get good at it in time.

Step Up Your Own Game
There's no better lesson about how to practice genuine effort than to act it out in our own lives. When children see us take on a difficult task in good cheer, with dedication and the right attitude, they will learn to do the same.

Say No To Harsh Criticism 
Can we be the generation that puts an end to using offensive and harmful language with children? Phrases like "Why are you always so lazy" or "you never get anything right" are anything but constructive criticism. The negativity sticks and kids will absolutely translate it into how they see themselves, impairing their sense of self-worth and confidence.

Focus On Their Strengths
If your child does something well and enjoys doing it, pay attention because maybe that's what they should be doing. Children need to be given a chance to develop their best abilities.

Ultimately, we must remember that at this incredibly fragile and sensitive time of their lives, we're all our kids have - the place they turn to with absolute trust when things in their little world get ugly. We must remain a refuge of encouragement as they develop from being a bawling toddler into a complex and capable individual. But what do you think? Is parenting getting better with every generation as people have more access to better information? Let us know your thoughts, fears and ideas at!