How can you help you reinforce your child’s self-esteem? Teach them to value differences? Here are some suggestions:
- When children ask questions about the things that make someone different from them, answer them. Young children may ask about why someone’s skin color is different, how someone dresses, what they eat – talk about it so your child learns about ways of life and diversity of peoples in our world.
- Praise your child to help them feel pride in their accomplishments. There’s a balance between too little or too much praise, so figure out what works best for your child.
- Encourage your child’s passions as they discover their strengths and talents.
- Ask your child what they like about themselves and share what you love about them.
- Celebrate belonging through friendship. Share what you love about family friends and ask your child what they like about their friends. Talk about how friends make you feel.
- Play dates! Children need to be around peers to learn how to get along and cooperate.
- Remember that part of the journey to self-esteem is letting kids do things (and fail) on their own. Children need to learn independence but also how to ask for help.
- Read books that share the stories of a variety of people. Children who are exposed to a rich diversity of characters in books are able to interact more positively with others in real life.
- Use books to introduce your child to role models. Real people and imaginary characters can help shape how your child learns to advocate for themselves and others.