High self-esteem occurs when a child feels that he belongs. He has a sense of feeling important, accepted and valued. When the child grows up feeling lovable and capable; he develops high self-esteem. He needs to feel proud of his accomplishments. He is able to assume responsibility and is accountable for his actions. He is able to tolerate frustration, have the courage to try new things, sees obstacles as challenges and has compassion and empathy for others.

Each child needs to find his own place in the family and in the world. He needs to feel that he is unique and special in some way. He needs to find hobbies, develop skills, or interests that make him feel proud and accomplished. Parents can encourage this uniqueness by helping the child to explore various interests, talents, or hobbies that the child may enjoy.

Tips to building your child’s self-esteem

Encourage your child to do his best without expecting perfection. We all make mistakes and children need to feel that it is safe to make mistakes without feeling they disappointed their parents. Expectations need to be reasonable based on the child’s age and experience.
- Be consistent. Define limits and rules clearly. Don’t make promises you can’t keep or give consequences that you can’t or won’t follow through with. If your child can’t trust your word, then he will lose respect for you and stop trusting you.
Be the example you want to set. Don’t tell your son to stop insulting or bullying his sister, if your partner is doing the same to you.
Show your child affection and tell him you love them. One of the things children have asked for when questioned about what they are missing from their parents, was to be told they are loved. You may believe that you child knows this from all the things you buy him, or places you take him, but your child needs to hear it as well.
Give your child responsibility. He needs to know that he is an important part of the family and as such has certain responsibilities. It will make your child feel more invested in the family if there are expectations and accountability.
Ask your child about his or her interests. Encourage him to acquire hobbies. Ask him about his day. How is school? Does he have someone to eat lunch with? These questions will help you to find how your child is really is doing at school. “Fine” is not enough. Don’t assume he will tell you if he is unhappy or being bullied. Most children don’t tell their parents about this as they don’t want to be seen as a tattletales and also feel their parents won’t be able to help anyway.
Don’t compare one sibling with another. Each child is different and has his own unique personality. Comparing one child to another only breeds resentment and discouragement, it does not inspire.
Treat your child with respect. Don’t interrupt him when he is talking, listen attentively, give him eye contact. If you want him to treat you and others with respect, you must model the same behaviours.
Give each child some alone time with you. It can be just 15 or 20 minutes, but playing a game with them, or reading them a story or just listening to them talk about what interests them, will be valued by your child and help them to feel special, worthy, and important. Isn’t that how we all want our children to feel?
Empowering quote for parents

"If you raise your children to feel that they can accomplish any goal or task they decide upon, you will have succeeded as a parent and you will have given your children the greatest of all blessings."

Author's Bio: 

Rhonda has been involved in couple and individual therapy in the Montreal area for over twenty years. She also reaches clients outside of Montreal through her Toll Free Telecounselling service. One of her specialties is offering short-term counselling with long-term results. Rhonda has a solution-focused approach. Her Montreal therapy sessions do more than offer compassion, empathy and active listening. Rhonda is a strong advocate for empowering her clients. To help them achieve this goal, she offers concrete tools and strategies that enable her clients to better manage their lives and cope with any further challenges they may experience in their lives.