Young children need all different kinds of support to develop their self esteem – from their days in nappies, to their very first day at school. A child’s self esteem is all about how they perceive themselves – whether it’s good or bad, the way they develop and grow has an influence on their perception. A child’s self esteem is important because it affects their day to day quality of life. It affects their relationships with you, with others, and how well they do at kindy, school, or in social situations. Later on in life, it will affect even more – like their jobs, or even marriage!
If you’re worried about your child’s self esteem, there are a few clear indicators that will help you figure out if it’s low:
Newborns and babies haven’t developed self perception, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start things off on the right foot. It’s important to care for your baby gently, respond when it cries and give it lots of cuddles and smiles to remind a baby that it is loved, and it is lovable.
Toddlers are only just beginning to understand their own sense of self. A great way to allow a toddler’s self esteem to flourish is by giving them decisions and allowing them to understand that they have the autonomy to change or make things happen. Safe, toddler friendly examples would be letting them decide what shoes to wear, or whether they’d like apple or orange juice.
By the time children and in kindy, preschool or primary school, they have a solid sense of self and will have probably begun to compare themselves to others. They might feel less capable than others in their class, so it’s important to give them lots of love and cuddles at the end of the day, and to affirm their strengths. Remind them that you are proud of their accomplishments, and more importantly, that you are proud when they tried something that they find difficult or don’t like to do.
Most of all, it’s important to be a role model for your child. So much of the growth and development in children is fostered by what they observe and learn from the people they spend their time with the most. Talk to your child not only about their difficulties and accomplishments, but also the things you have to overcome as an adult. For example, if your child knows you don’t like going to the gym, try telling them beforehand: “Going to the gym isn’t my favourite thing to do, but it helps me stay healthy and happy, so I always make sure I do it!”
A child’s self esteem can be a tricky thing to navigate, but it’s important that those around them understand how essential it is to their happiness and well being. At Cubby Care, we have the kindest kind of carers – which means your child is guaranteed the best kind of support from us as they learn and grow. If you have any questions about how your child can be enrolled in the kindest kind of kindy, please get in touch!