“Wow! Great job!” I told my 3 year old son the first time he drew a stick person. He was very excited to show me his drawing and I was genuinely proud of him. I immediately took a picture because I wanted to capture his precious drawing and have it forever. I could tell how happy he was that I was proud of him.
It can be easy to let our kids know when they do something the wrong way or scold them when they do something bad, but how often do we remember to praise them when they do something right? I know I’ve been guilty of not doing this and it’s something I’m working on. My 3 year old is very shy in new situations but I don’t tell him is shyness is problem. I know that is part of his personality and that’s okay. I’m shy sometimes too. Sometimes he struggles making friends and other times he surprises me! We were at a restaurant playplace once and he walked up to another child and asked his name and then they started playing together. I was shocked but proud. I later told him how that was very nice of him to take the initiative to make a friend.
Some great ways to build your child’s self-esteem is to simply encourage them in everything they do and give them praise when they complete a task or earn a reward. Also, praise them when they at least try. Even if they don’t succeed at something you can tell them, “That was a good try!” or “I’m so proud of how much effort you put in!” It’s also very important to show them how much you appreciate them, support what they are trying to accomplish and always show them how much you love them.
One final thing to remember is to show them what it’s like to have a healthy level of self-esteem. Never talk yourself down or mope around when you fail. Get back up and try again! Our kids are always watching us and will do what we do. Set a good example and demonstrate good self-esteem.