Words that will boost your child’s self esteem
To help parents create more positive memories, I thought I’d write about how our words can improve our child’s self-esteem.
How do you talk to your kids?
What do you say to them?
In day-to-day speech, we should strive to speak in an encouraging tone as much as possible to help our child’s self-esteem grow. This means paying attention to their positive actions. We don’t need to overinflate our speech, just honestly acknowledge the good behaviors we see. Kids know when we are stretching the truth, so honesty is the best road to take.
“Wow, you knew exactly where to find your baseball. What a smart boy!”
“Thank you for giving your sister a turn with your train set. What a kind brother you are.”
“You figured out how to swing all by yourself. You are so clever. Way to persevere.”
Speaking more often in this way compliments children on their actions and their being, which enhances self-esteem. It might be a little weird at first to talk this way, but as you look for opportunities to congratulate their actions, you’ll find them. Kids usually make more right choices during the day than wrong choices. (I’m not saying you can never discipline your child. That’s our responsibility as parents, but that’s a topic for another day.)
Regular compliments such as “You’re so beautiful” are important for children to hear. But when we compliment our kids on their being (“You are so handsome”) AND on their good behavior (“What a healthy eater! You ate your carrots!”) we are speaking in the best of both worlds. Challenge yourself to compliment your child’s behavior more often. See what kind of a difference it makes.