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Is my child struggling with low self-esteem? This is a question that can trouble most parents, especially those with young offspring. At such a critical stage of their lives, any issue can directly affect their development. That’s why it’s essential to spot any signs of low self-esteem in your kindergartener and to find ways to fill the gaps.
We’ve listed down some activities that boost self-esteem and these are specifically targeted toward kindergartners. Most of these can be followed simply at home or in an academic setting. Do try these and let us know which one turned out more fruitful for you. Before we proceed, let us all go through some textbook signs of low self-esteem in the younger crowd.
Children struggling with low self-esteem tend to;
- Lack confidence and often not take small risks. A kid struggling with low self-esteem might doubt his/her potential. He might fear assessments and feel like he’d fail even before taking one.
- Be too self-critical and find faults in themselves physically. Such kids are often hard on themselves and compare themselves with someone their own age.
- Socialize less often and make fewer friends.
- Focus more on the things they lack instead of the good things they already possess.
- Be less vocal and struggle with public speaking too.
- Be more emotional and crave attention a lot more from their guardians as compared to someone their own age.
6 Reasons Why Your Kindergartner’s Self-Esteem Matters
If you’re wondering why it’s so essential to cater to a kindergartener’s self-esteem here are some reasons;
1. Tending to a kid’s self-esteem from an early age ensures that they don’t face low self-esteem as teenagers or adults.
2. Forging healthy levels of self-esteem in their developmental stages shapes them into adults that are more emotionally stable and open to risks.
3. People who have always had healthy self-esteem are happier than those who don’t.
4. Low self-esteem affects your professional life and can also affect the sort of people one befriends or dates.
5. Low self-esteem can actually impact a person’s mental health and in extreme cases contribute to anomalies.
6. Tending to your kid’s low levels of self-esteem can actually stop them from living a future centered around comparison with peers.
7 Easy Activities That Can Successfully Boost A Kindergartner’s Self Esteem
Emphasize The Essentiality Of “Trying”
The goal isn’t winning, the goal is trying and learning new stuff. This should be the principle in your child’s life and you’ll expose them to it. When they feel down after losing a baseball match or after scoring low on a test hold a chat with them.
Help them actualize that this experience was still fruitful. This will stabilize their lost confidence, provide reassurance and give them a new perspective on life. Now, they’ll focus more on trying new things instead of being scared of the consequences.
Chores Can Prove Fruitful
Involve your kids in household chores. Perhaps they can hold the pipe while you’re gardening. They can even help fluff up any cushions while you’re putting on new sheets. Provide positive feedback when your kid performs household chores. Feedback of this sort can raise their self-esteem so easily and give them a sense of accomplishment.
Celebrate Their Goals & Achievements
In this stage of their life, your kids need to realize that they have a certain potential inside them. Once they realize that they’re actually worth something, their confidence in themselves actually rises.
So, if your kid gets good marks in a regular assessment try and celebrate that with them. Every accomplishment should be celebrated as it’s a reminder of your kid’s achievements. Use words to show your approval towards any of your kid’s aspirations.
For instance; kids often share with their parents what they plan on becoming in the future. This is your chance to be verbally supportive. If your kid wants to become a pilot show your support and trust in their dreams. Praise their ideas instead of shooting them down harshly.
In this context, you can share some facts about pilots and flights with them. Purchase toys or pamphlets that align with your kid’s future vision and hold conversations on similar topics. The bottom line is, you should simply try and show your support by any means. Who knows how things will turn out, but for now you should act supportive.
You can polish your kid’s creative side by exposing them to new things. Instead of just relying on traditional ideas, let them speak up and share their non-traditional takes on matters. Bright minds need space to grow their ideas. Get them involved in spaces or clubs that encourage innovation. It can be an art class centered around the usage of recycled items or a creative writing class.
Be An Exemplary Figure
Kids assimilate what they’re watching. They learn and mimic the actions of the people around them. So, you should act the way you want your kid to act. The way you deal with your emotions is an indicator of your self-esteem. Which is why you must act in an exemplary manner in front of your child. If your kid watches you engaging in constructive activities he/she might want to do the same. As you know, actions speak louder than words.
Hold Dialogues With Them
At the end of the day, take 30s minutes daily to discuss whatever you did during the entire day with your child. All you have to do is talk. Let them share the account of their own day. You’re simply trying to forge a safe space where your kid can feel comfortable enough to speak his/her mind.
It’s a simple chatter about the day that can give their young minds knowledge about the outside world and how to deal with whatever goes on in that world. This simple daily ritual will soon turn them confident enough to speak in front of someone else.
Introduce The Concept Of Independence
Give your kid a chance to share their opinion and practice their vision. Before an event or on a school night let them decide on their outfit for the next day. It’s such a simple task that can help them practice independence on a tiny but significant level. Encouraging independence improves their self-reliance. Consequently improving their confidence in their own ideas or visions.
Self Esteem & Children: 5 Additional Tips For Parents
1. Don’t Yell or Punish Through Harsh Means
Raising your voice or your hand at a kid should be the last of your choices. You simply can’t do that so don’t even consider it an option. Kids in downright abusive households often grow up to become adults with low self-esteem. So taking such a harsh approach with your parenting right now will destroy your kids’ future too. Adapt a gentler way of parenting by being a more grounded parental figure for your kindergartener.
You can’t point rights from wrongs without raising your voice. There’s an abundance of literature relevant to this topic. You can either consult that or talk to a counselor to land on a way of parenting that’ll actually improve your kid’s self-esteem.
2. Try & Show Your Affection The Right Way
This is a great tip for those parents that are always trying to balance their work and personal life. Did you know that simply claiming to love your child isn’t enough? You actually have to show your affection through your actions.
Skipping that PTA meeting you always end up missing because of some other occasion can actually take a toll on your child’s confidence. Not attending a recitation for your kid’s kindergarten can actually make him/her think that you don’t care about him/her enough.
A child who repeatedly notices this pattern might actually start believing that he’s all alone and his parents actually don’t love him enough. Children are innocent beings and it’s hard for them to understand why you’re stuck at work or unable to make an appearance on important occasions. So, as a parent, it’s your job to find the right ways of showing affection instead of just verbally claiming it.
3. Ensure Undivided Attention For All Kids
If you have multiple offspring then it’s your job to maintain equilibrium in terms of care and attention. You can’t purchase chocolates worth $10 for one child but then go ahead and provide chocolates worth $15 to the other child. Regardless of what the circumstances are all your offspring deserve equal levels of intimacy and emotional backing. Kids who have gotten used to being the center of attention as single children can struggle while adapting to new circumstances. The presence of a newborn can seem overbearing for them.
In such scenarios, the elder sibling does feel like he/she is getting neglected and their self-esteem takes a huge toll. Parents should be stepping up and making sure that their kid’s self-esteem doesn’t suffer in this case. Offer emotional reassurance and try having a chat about the changes in circumstances. Try to be as present as you were before in your kid’s life. Don’t miss out on opportunities to show your undying love just because you have a lot more on your plate now.
4. Act Like Their Biggest Confidant
As a parent, you’d most definitely want to establish strong emotional ties with your own kid. As their guardian, you’d want to make sure that they’re sharing things with you. It’s actually a sign of a healthy parent-child relationship if the latter feels comfortable enough to share his deepest troubles and desires with you. Kids who tend to feel comfortable enough to do this actually have healthy self-esteem.
Kids that are brought up in a healthy environment of this sort always feel like they have someone to emotionally rely on and they’re not alone. This is why they have the confidence to learn new things, try new experiences, and aren’t scared to test their potential.
Thus it’s a parent’s or guardian’s job to act like the most perfect confidant. If you’ll act like the part, your offspring will surely feel comfortable enough to share things with you. So, alter your behavior by making a few changes. Make sure you’re not sharing an intimate conversation you had with your kid with someone else. Some matters can just be too hard to share and kids also depend on a certain level of secrecy. If you promised to keep a matter a secret, then respect that level of secrecy.
If your kid ends up finding out that you’ve disrespected your oath he/she might struggle while maintaining their confidence in you. Consequently, their self-esteem will start tumbling down. In addition, a perfect confidant also remains non-judgmental. So, listen to your kid thoroughly on any tough matters and offer guidance in a lighthearted manner.
You shouldn’t seem overbearing or admonish them when they’re being vulnerable in front of you. For instance; if your kid’s sharing how troubling academic pressure is for them then you should offer words of reassurance after listening to them respectfully. Offer advice in a kind manner or suggest means to reduce their anxiety.
5. Don’t Fuel Any Toxic Behavioral Antics
I bet you’re wondering how exactly a child can be toxic. Isn’t that a term we specifically reserve for adults? The term in question is surely reserved for people of a certain age and experience, but in this case, a child can soon turn into a toxic person when left unchecked.
On one end if there are parents that injure their child’s ego directly and indirectly by being extremely critical. There are also parents that boost their child’s ego to a level that’s beyond normal. Stroking your child’s ego even when they do something wrong is a sign of unhealthy parenting.
If a child makes a mistake that results in someone else’s pain you should be admonishing them in a decent manner. Some people make a huge mistake by stroking their kid’s egos and praising any of their similar antics.
Such guardians walk over even the smallest instances where their kid’s being unkind. Ignoring this matter will only add fuel to the fire and lead a child into believing that he’s above all. You must understand that as a parent, keeping your child’s behavior in check when it’s desperately needed will only turn him into a decent human being.
You’re not negatively affecting their self-esteem by keeping their limits in check. A good example of this would be guiding your kid in the right manner if they’re caught bullying or being unkind to someone their own age. Deal with this manner at once because you must keep your child’s self-esteem in check while making sure that he learns from his mistake.
Don’t forget to provide positive feedback as much as you can and be kind no matter how huge a child’s follies are. So, which of these activities do you plan on trying?