What Is Self-Esteem?
Self-esteem is how you feel about yourself, both inside and out.1 This can affect how you act in a relationship and handle stressful situations.1 Positive self-esteem is important for having confidence and can be helpful for developing your preschooler’s social skills, which are necessary for making friends and communicating effectively.2 The way you approach tasks and deal with life’s disappointments is also greatly influenced by positive self-esteem. 2 Having low self-esteem can cause you to feel lasting emotional damage after experiencing failure. 2
Why Is It Important to Build Your Preschooler’s Self-Esteem?
Parents play a big role in how a child’s self-esteem develops. Positive self-esteem begins as early as birth with your child’s attachment to you, and the foundations for confidence and self-esteem are established during the preschool years. 1,2 What you say and do around your little one will have a big impact on how they feel about themselves. 1 Your child looks up to you and will learn from what you do, so it’s important to be aware of how you talk to them. In order to build positive self-esteem, your child needs to feel loved, accepted and safe. 1
Having positive self-esteem will also help your child be their own person and make healthy choices. 1 Your child will have to navigate new situations and feelings as they grow up, which can be stressful at times. Having positive self-esteem will help your child feel more loved and give them the sense that they can handle challenges. 2
How to Build Self-Esteem in Your Preschooler
Having self-esteem is crucial for your child’s development. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can help build your preschooler’s self-esteem at home. Try these tips for boosting self-esteem:
Teaching Your Child About Themselves
Self-esteem has a lot to do with how a child perceives themselves, so it’s important for them to know who they are and where they come from. You can start by teaching your child about who is who in the family and explaining how they are related to certain family members. 2 Making photo albums with your child can be a fun bonding activity that teaches them about their relatives. 2
Praise and Encourage
Make sure to give your preschooler plenty of praise after successfully completing a task. 2 It can also be good to explain why their actions were helpful to you so they see themselves as capable helpers. Avoid putting down your child by calling them lazy or saying they make you tired, as a child’s self-esteem can easily be damaged by this language. 2 Giving them hugs and properly listening to them when they talk can also help them see their value. 2
Hang Up Their Artwork
If your preschooler makes any drawings in art class or doodles something in their spare time, displaying their artwork can make them feel appreciated and proud of their achievement. 2 Keeping their artwork or letters can also help them build a sense of self. 2
Letting your child handle problems can make them feel like they are able to accomplish something on their own. Encourage your child to make decisions and work through problems independently, but make sure they always know you’re there to help them if they need it. 2 Giving them simple tasks and responsibilities around the house can also create a sense of accomplishment and independence. 1
Play Challenging Games
When your preschooler feels like they can achieve something, it helps them build their self-esteem. 1 Initiate challenging games or help them build big towers with blocks to give them a sense of achievement. 1
Teach Positive Affirmations
It’s important for young children to think positively about themselves. 2 Make some time in your daily routine with your preschooler to say affirmations in the mirror to start their day with a pop of positivity. Always say positive things to them, even if their team doesn’t win the game or if they can’t figure out a problem on their own. 2
Building confidence and self-esteem for your preschooler is just as important as maintaining their physical development. While you’re helping to build their inner sense of self, you can also provide your preschooler with their favorite healthy snacks and a nutritional drink for kids like Enfagrow A+ to support their growing bodies and brains.