For children with low self esteem, it can sometimes take more than a few encouraging words to help give them confidence they need in everyday life. Sometimes, even with plenty of positive reinforcement, it could take years for a child to build their self-esteem. For ideas on how to help a child boost their self esteem, then read on below for inspiration and tips.
Causes of Low Self-esteem in Children
There can be a number of causes of low self esteem in a child. For example, a past experience or a perceived failure (at school in exams for example) can cause a child to feel self doubt. For some, a passing comment or in extreme circumstances, bullying by their peers can equally have a negative effect on their confidence.
Positive Praise and Reassurance
Fortunately there are many ways to help a child feel more confident and positive. For example, offering plenty of praise and encouragement or placing a focus on positive reinforcement will help to cement a child's positive belief in themselves. External influences (such as out of school activities) can also play a huge role in the development of child's self-esteem.
Taking Up a Sport
Starting a new hobby can be an excellent way to build a child's self-esteem. For many children, a sport or physical activity is the best option. It can help them build confidence in their physical ability and their other capabilities. For example, taking up martial arts is a great way of building a child's self-esteem. They will learn in a group setting, where they can socialise and make friends. They will get support from their peers and teachers and have an activity they can bond over. The belt system in martial arts is an excellent way to offer encouragement and rewards for hard work too, helping them stay motivated and feel proud of their achievement.
Enjoying a Non-sport Activity
Taking up a sport may not be for every child. There are many other activities they could enjoy to build their self-esteem. For example, children can gain confidence by joining a drama or dance class. They could also take an art class, join a choir or even learn a language. Finding something that they're good at and enjoy can be a brilliant boost to self-esteem.
Emphasise Fun Over Being Good
Engaging your child in an activity they have a knack for can help them improve their self-esteem. However, it's also important to help them learn that they don't have to be good at everything. They don't have to give up on something because they aren't naturally talented. Learning to enjoy something regardless of whether you're good at it can be tough even for adults. But it's a valuable lesson to learn, and it can be excellent for building self-esteem. It's more important that an activity is fun and that your child is willing to try. It's less important that they get everything right.
Correct Negative Beliefs
Children with low self-esteem may be more likely to say negative things about themselves. They might put themselves down or deflect compliments. Being vigilant about correcting these negative self-beliefs is important. It’s important to try to be aware when a child vocalises false beliefs about their abilities and personality. For example, they might believe that they are a bad student because they struggle with maths. It's important to correct these things and turn them into something less negative. They might need to work more on their maths skills, but needing some extra help doesn't make them a bad student.
Using some of these tips and ideas could help your child or a child you know boost their confidence and self esteem. If you’re looking for an activity that could help your child feel more confident in themselves then why try a FREE martial arts class. Find a martial arts class near you and enter your postcode.