Supporting children’s confidence and self esteem

Children who feel happy in themselves tend not to fear the unknown and are always ready to give something new a go. And a confident child that pushes themself outside of their comfort zone, without giving it too much thought, often enables them to give these new experiences their all. It’s likely that these confident children are also more accepting of mistakes too, as they can see that practice makes perfect, and not everything goes to plan the first time around. 

This short explanation of self confidence and self esteem in children gives you an overview of how these qualities can help children to thrive at school, home and in their social lives. But what happens when self esteem in children is low? 

The London Preschool is here to show you how to identify what low self esteem in children looks like and how to support children’s self confidence and self esteem in schools – read on to find out more.

What low self esteem in children looks like

Children with low self esteem are generally quiet and unsure of themselves, which can be difficult when at school and surrounded by children who are  the opposite. Children with low confidence and little self esteem tend to have a hard time at school, as they face new people and new tasks every day, which is something they typically dread. And due to low self esteem having a knock-on effect on other feelings, they can be extra self-critical, believe that they’re a failure, and have no friends to turn to. This can be a vicious circle if help and support aren’t provided.

Signs of low self esteem in children:

  • They are self-critical
  • They believe other children are better than them
  • They assume they’re going to fail
  • They’re quiet and lack confidence
  • Making friends is hard for them

Low self esteem in children can look like the list above. If any of these signs seem familiar with your child, take a look at how you can boost confidence and self esteem in your child in the next section below.

How parents can boost self esteem in children

Self esteem comes more naturally to some children than others, and that’s OK. Every person on the planet is different. And every child has different experiences in the early years, which can have an impact on their development and self esteem. That said, low self esteem in children can always be raised with the right guidance. 

Here’s how to boost your child’s confidence and self esteem:

  • Praise your child for putting in effort – instead of only praising your child for coming first on sports day or doing well in a test, praise them for putting in the effort to improve at something too. Working towards the bigger picture is a great personality trait to have. Whether they’ve been practicing their sports ready for sports day or sticking to their instrument homework to impress their teacher at their next lesson, praise them for sticking at something and for being goal-orientated. Children that work hard towards a goal are more likely to succeed at school.

  • Avoid overpraising your child – we all want to boost our child’s self esteem by telling them that everything they’ve done is good but there will be times when they haven’t done their best. Whether they’ve received a low score in something or lost at a game it’s important to simply give encouragement rather than false praise. Telling your child that they’ve done really well is confusing to them, when they know they haven’t, so it’s best to say something along the lines of, ‘I know you’re disappointed and that it wasn’t your best, but you didn’t give up and I’m so proud of you’.

Realising that your child has little confidence and low self esteem can make you want to help your child with everything, do everything for them and praise them continuously. However, doing this can in fact do the opposite.

Instead, you should encourage them to learn new things, whether they’re learning to hold a cup on their own or read, support them with the first steps and let them try for themselves. The more things your child learns to do, the more confident they will be as they grow. The same applies for teaching them how to pour their morning cereal and milk or dress themselves, show them and allow them to continue on their own. If they make a mistake, it’s fine, we learn through mistakes, let them try again. And of course, as they attempt these new things, let them know just how proud you are of them for giving something a go and not giving up. 

What good self esteem in children looks like:

  • Feelings of being liked and accepted
  • Seemingly confident 
  • Feelings of pride in what they do
  • They think good things about themselves
  • They believe in their abilities

Connect with The London Preschool

At The London Preschool, we have over 50 years of combined experience in providing early years education and excellent child care. Our dedicated practitioners focus on every child as an individual because we understand that all children learn in different ways. Our curriculum is designed around exploring, discovering and learning, so that your children have varied and exciting opportunities to help them better understand and absorb the world around them in a way that suits them best. 

Whatever your child’s needs, interests, talents and abilities, we listen carefully, ensuring that their time with us is not only enjoyable but an experience that helps to boost their confidence and self esteem.

If you’re interested in taking a tour of our premises, contact our dedicated professionals who are always happy to help.

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