Having great self esteem is perhaps one of the most important traits a child can have. It is what makes a child feel wanted and loved. It is what gives them the ability to foster relationships, develop skills, and sets the groundwork for lifelong independence, learning, and achievements. Here are some tips that parents, caregivers, and teachers can draw upon to help foster self esteem in children.

Be a positive role model.

Children learn from what they see. If they see that you are always positive and see that you believe in yourself and try new things, they will too. If they see you are always down on your abilities then they will doubt themselves.

Let them make their own choices, within reason.

It can be so much easier for a parent or teacher to always make the choices, but allowing the child to participate in the decision making is important. It allows them to feel that their opinions and ideas really matter, and helps them take responsibility for the consequences and rewards of those decisions.

Let them try new things.

Encouraging kids to try new things helps them to develop and grow their self worth. Adults should always give positive reinforcements as they try new things, even when they fail. Successes are great of course, but failures also allow them to realize that they don’t have to be perfect at everything. Make sure they know it is OK to fail and that they should keep trying.

Give Them Praise.

Letting a child know that they have done a great job is critical to self esteem. Focusing on positive behaviors and letting the child know when they have done something right fosters self confidence.

Try not to criticize.

While adults do need to set boundaries, use appropriate discipline, and guide the child at times, they do not need to belittle the child’s self worth. If a child hears over and over again that they are not good enough, eventually they will believe it.

Give your child responsibilities.

Children want to feel that they belong. Start at a young age and have the child participate in chores at home. This allows the child to feel worthy and know that they are part of the family.

Let the child work through his/her own problems.

Assist them when necessary, but allow them to figure it out on their own as much as possible. When they can come to the solution they feel confident inside, and will prepare them for problems they will inevitably encounter later in life. If you are always solving all of their problems for them, they'll never learn how to do it for themselves.

There are of course, other critical things that parents and caregivers can do on a daily basis to increase a child’s self confidence. Letting them know you appreciate them, telling them you love them, and spending time with them are all great moral boosters. Encouraging them and helping them move towards independence is important as well.