Ditch the empty praise and start giving your kids opportunities to help them grow inwardly, experts say.
Busy moms and dads who want to try and boost their child’s confidence may often toss out compliments and praise just for the heck of it, only those empty-handed efforts are to no avail. If you REALLY want to boost your child’s self-esteem, says Jim Taylor, author of the book Your Kids Are Listening: Nine Messages They Need to Hear from You, cut the over-praising for one. Self-esteem comes from feeling loved, secure, and from developing competence, Taylor says. Developing competence in kids takes time and effort and you can’t praise your way into that for them.
Here are quick tips courtesy of Taylor:
• Stand back while your child takes healthy risks.
To build confidence in the world, kids have to take chances, make choices and take responsibility for them.
• Let kids make their own choices.
When kids make their own age-appropriate choices, they feel more powerful.
• Have them help around the house.
Kids need to know how to do dishes, cook simple items, clean up the living room, dust and vacuum, etc.
• Encourage THEIR interests, not yours.
Sometimes parents make plans for their kids, but the kids have no interest in what the parents have in mind. Follow your child’s lead, not your own.
• Remember, struggle and failure are good teachers.
Difficulties often provide golden moments for teaching and building self esteem.
• DO praise, but make it appropriate praise.
When it’s specific and tied to something valuable, it can be a wonderful esteem builder.