Self-esteem is loving and believing in yourself. It helps children learn and develop, face challenges and explore new things and activities. A loving, nurturing, and supportive environment, along with polite feedback, really helps to build a child’s
When toddlers attain the age of 2 years and above, they gauge more and develop an understanding of themselves and their
surroundings and the things they can do. This is the perfect age to work on the child’s self–esteem. Parents can start by letting their children decide which toy they want to play with, which color they want to wear, whether they want to have jam or butter on their toast, how they want their milk to be, and which flavor. This gives them a sense of self and an exciting sense of control.It’s important to let the child decide for himself and give them the option of saying ‘no’. This would help them learn their decisions can have consequences they’ll have to deal with. For instance, if they say ‘no’ to eating some particular food, you can let them be and they can learn about it when they are actually hungry and ready to eat the same food.
As children at this age are only trying to understand who they are and what is theirs, parents can help them through social
situations and teach them to share and take turns. For example, while playing with blocks, you can teach them it’s your turn to
place the block and that they should wait for their turn.
While helping preschoolers build self-esteem, it’s important to start by giving them positive and polite feedback for at least trying and being participative in any activity at home or at school. They should know that just trying and giving it your best shot is good enough as opposed to being praised for only winning at something. It is also important for them to learn to be happy for their peers and friends. This encourages them to be happy for others’ successes, too. For example, you could say
you performed really well. Let’s congratulate your friend for winning this competition. Organize play-dates with your child’s
friends and play simple board games or card games with them. This would teach them to be socially active and cooperate with
others. You can also include your child while doing daily chores and entrust them with simple tasks like laying the table or
putting away laundry to wash. This helps them feel responsible and good about you trusting them with some responsibility.
Parents should be keen about their children’s interests and do their favorite activities, like playing with blocks, reading books, and singing rhymes. This also gives them a sense of belonging, which helps to shape their confidence.
It is crucial to foster a healthy relationship between their daycare/preschool and home. Talk to your child’s teachers about his performance at his daycare or preschool and equally take part in his school projects, art, and craft activities, or any homework,being connected to other people who are in your child’s immediate surroundings and care about your child also helps build self–esteem and confidence at many levels.
When children try new things, face challenges and bounce back, they learn and grow. Therefore, self-esteem can be an
important part of child development in the early years.