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The keys to good self-esteem

Cait Braeden is a freelance writer from California, who considers herself a Jill of all trades... and mistress of none.

How to nurture your child's self-worth

If children believe in themselves and feels good about themselves, they can do most anything. One of the most important things you can do as a parent is help boost your child's self-esteem and confidence.
Child needing confidence

Listen to your child

When you truly listen to your child, he will feel significant, valued and important. If you are distracted or disinterested when your child is talking, he'll feel unimportant and dismissed. Therefore, it's essential to have real conversations with your child. Take time to sit and really listen to what he is saying.

Be constructive with your criticism

Your child has faults and makes mistakes — everyone does. When your child does something wrong, don't talk about how she is "bad." Instead, discuss how the behavior or actions were bad and explain that you are disappointed. You don't want to attack your child's personality, character and being. Offer constructive criticism about how she can improve her behavior, grades or whatever has occurred.

Foster creativity

Put your children in the position to learn new things and explore their creative side. By fostering their creativity and providing them with healthy methods of self-expression, they'll gain confidence as they try — and often master — new things. Developing new interests and discovering passions is a key to bolstering self-esteem.

Encourage problem solving and decision making

From the time your child is a young age, allow him the opportunity to make decisions, settle disputes and solve problems on his own. Don't feel the need to constantly meddle and make his decisions for him. With added responsibility comes confidence and positive self-esteem.

Keep in mind...
You should teach your kids to be confident in their abilities, but don't forget to teach your children about humility, sensitivity and gratitude, too.

Praise, but don't overpraise

It's very important that we acknowledge and praise our children's accomplishments — big and small. However, it's important not to overpraise. Superlative praise for minor achievements makes genuine praise for truly noteworthy actions seem meaningless. Overpraising your child can also lead to an overinflated ego and a superior attitude toward others.

Help conquer fears

One of the best ways to help boost your child's confidence and self-esteem is by helping her overcome her fears. Oftentimes kids don't want to try new things or explore new opportunities. This is sometimes due to fear. They don't think that they will do well, so they are afraid to try. As a parent, you must be able to recognize their fears and then put them in a position to overcome them.

Nurture your child's natural gifts

Talk to your child about his dreams and goals, as well as things that he is both good at and likes to do. In whatever way that your child is naturally gifted or talented, nurture it — from art to athletics and scholastics to music. By nurturing his natural gifts and helping him find his talents and passions, you'll boost your child's confidence, self-esteem and overall happiness.

More about children and self-esteem

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