Children and Self-Esteem Print
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Written by Joy Venhorst   
Thursday, 07 July 2011 12:30

What helps children mature with a positive sense of self?

Age— With age, a child will learn increased control, gain memory, develop cognitively, and learn language and a sense of how to plan for the future.

Supported waiting— Children have difficulty waiting, but can be supported while they wait. Talk to them. For example: “In 5 more minutes, dinner will be ready. I know you can wait that long.”

Follow through— Follow through after a child waits. Do not imply a reward will come if it will not. This is part of trust!

Modeling— Adults who control their own anger, aggression, language, and needs provide positive models for their children.

Feeling in control— Provide children with age-appropriate choices. Offer two choice you can live with, and give the child an opportunity to learn to make decisions by choosing.

For Preschoolers

• Build on a child’s interest by helping him or her experience or learn more about a topic. 
• Involve children in real chores and helping tasks to give them a sense accomplishment. 
• Treat children with respect. Ask their opinion and listen. Give mean-ingful feedback. Learn about typical stage develop-ment, including the development of trust, independence, and initiative. 
• During times of disappointment, let your child know you still love and support him or her. After the crisis has passed, reflect on and discuss possible ways to cope in the future.

For School-Age Children

• Respect a child’s strengths, and they will respect you. 
• Help the child set goals, and then link ongoing effort with success. 
• Examine values. Self-esteem is grounded in what a person values.

For Teens

• Keep talking to teens even if it seems they don’t listen or care. 
• Talk to teens about making good choices and about the many ways we express how we feel about others. 
• Say two good things before talking about any bad things. 
• Tell the teen something about yourself so they will feel safe sharing, too.

Contact Information:

Karen DeBord, Ph.D., State Extension Specialist, Child Development, North Carolina State University This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it '; document.write( '' ); document.write( addy_text41246 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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