Our children's moods, or thoughts about themselves can change day to day, or even hour to hour, but their over-all self esteem can effect their ability to be successful in life and make the right decisions when a challenge arises. Building that confidence requires constant nurturing and reinforcement.
As parents, or significant adults in our child's life, you have tremendous influence over your child's feelings of self-worth. You should start when your child is very young and help them develop a strong belief in their abilities. As your growing child faces new challenges, be sure to let them know how proud you are of even the smallest accomplishments. Also guiding them in decision making will help them recognize when a good decision is make opposed to a bad choice. Kids make decisions all the time without being aware of it, so you can help the child see between right or wrong to build self confidence.
Children are constantly talking to themselves. It is important to encourage positive self-talk. Pay close attention to what they think about themselves, as it can effect how they behave. Studies show that a child who has high self esteem are better likely to have confidence to try new things, make social connections, resist peer pressure and effectively solve problems.
The lack of self confidence in your child can lead to many negative behaviors such as depression, eating disorders, increased inability to say no to drugs or alcohol, and early sexual involvement. This can also carry to adulthood and lead to addictions, obesity and other health and mental problems.
One thing to remember is it is never too late to turn things around if you have made mistakes in the past. Get your child involved in sports, dance, art or even something as simple as helping prepare a meal, or helping take care of a pet. Be certain to let them know how proud you are of every small accomplishment.