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7 steps to improving your child’s self-esteem



Kids need to know they’re capable and appreciated

Kids need to know they’re capable and appreciated


Always important, but especially now, kids need to know they’re capable and appreciated.

Covid-19 has changed a lot, but some things remain the same regardless of the pandemic. For instance, kids still need encouragement and support to feel confident about their place in the world, and their capabilities within it, especially if that child has special needs. In the chaos and stress of raising a family in a pandemic, it’s easy to overlook this, particularly if a child does not yet possess the vocabulary to articulate those needs.

Teacher, early intervention specialist, and author Amanda Morin has created an easy-to-follow checklist of seven things parents can do to help reinforce or bolster children’s self-esteem, and, by extension, keep the home atmosphere positive and constructive.

First and foremost, not surprisingly, is talking to your child, and not just about them, but also about you, your own struggles, your little triumphs, and your ongoing work to improve things. Of course discretion in this area is important. Talking frankly about, say, working to improve one’s tennis game? Yes. About reining in one’s late night spending habits? Maybe not so much.

READ MORE: Build self-esteem in your tween

Especially with the ongoing stress of the pandemic, tempers can flare, and when parents themselves feel insecure, the impulse to be critical can be overwhelming. Here Morin offers salient advice: ‘Try offering your child a specific goal to work toward. For instance, instead of saying ‘Why do you always leave your clothes in such a mess?’ you can say, ‘Your clothes are all over the place. You can come back to your game after you put away your laundry.’”

A “growth mindset” is important, and the article offers a helpful download of “growth mindset activities.” This term applies to the concept that a child – or an adult – can improve. It seems simple to just be mindful not to say, “I will never get this right,” or to steer a child away from going there, but in an unguarded or weak moment, negative absolutes can slip out. Morin advises: “Your child might say, ‘I can’t read that. It’s too hard because I have dyslexia.’ You can respond by saying, ‘Yes, reading is hard for you, and you can’t read that book yet. Let’s formulate a plan to get better at it.’”

Other simple reminders, like praising your child, and teaching them it’s OK to fail, are part of Morin’s very helpful guide.



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