Although there are several ways of describing the idea of self-esteem, in general the word encompasses the way we feel and think about ourselves; the way we assess ourselves. Children with healthy self-esteem feel that they are deserving of love. They have a willingness to face tests even if they might not succeed.
Children with low self-esteem are very critical of themselves, hesitating to face tests because failure will corroborate their negative self-view, show frustration and non-tolerance. They don’t feel worthy of love. Moreover, having low self-esteem is correlated with numerous mental health disorders such as anxiety, eating disorders, substance use, and depression.
One of the biggest goals of parents is guaranteeing that their child fosters and develops a healthy self-esteem to take them through life.
Children are tuned into the state of their parents’ whole well-being. Parents typically don’t notice how much children are paying attention. In fact, children use their parents as a role model for behavior and as a mirror for their own feelings. So, if you are having a hard time with your own self-esteem and revealing these toils via actions and words, chances are your children will too.
It’s never too late to improve your self-esteem and enhance your ability to be a good role model for your children. For example, engaging in psychotherapy is a great way to get help with life’s trials like parenting, increasing your self-love.
Pay attention to how you speak to and listen to your child
Watch the judgments and labels that you say to your children to define their character. They can make more of an impression than you think. For instance, “Michael is not a good sharer” can be taken by your child as a statement of disapproval instead of a description of a specific behavior.
Instead, describe behaviors in the moment instead of globalizing them (“Michael had difficulty sharing his toy with Marcos last time”). Model the behavior that you would like your child to exhibit.