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Tips for parents/guardians

There are many ways that allow parents/guardians to play an active role in promoting self esteem in their children. Keep in mind that as guardians, you know your children better than anyone. Read over the list of tips for promoting self esteem with children. Use the tips that work best for you and your child. Take the time to participate in activities that you both enjoy - be creative with your ideas and have fun!

  • Practice open communication. Appreciate and recognize your child’s efforts and responsible thinking. There is more value in that than in praise for the actual task being completed.
  • Participate in true to life activities. Involve your child in your everyday activities. Cook together, eat together, be physically active together as a family. Include your child in household chores and activities, talk about managing money. Modelling these life lessons helps your child understand they can enjoy being a part of everyday interactions.
  • Provide ongoing support. Help your child overcome hardships or defeats in a positive way. Try to talk things through honestly, at their level. Create strategies to try the next time a similar situation happens. Don’t minimize it or ignore it – model problem solving, reflect on what went wrong and what could go differently next time.
  • Focus on your child’s strengths. Help your child identify their strengths to them and celebrate them with your child. Choose activities that highlight these strengths.
  • Celebrate success. Let your child know that you are proud of what they have accomplished and the person that they are.
  • Book It! Walk to the library and collect books that have positive messages and demonstrate ways to care about yourself and show caring for others. Read and discuss the books together.
  • Highlight the positive. Talk about what was good about your day.  Try to have a positive outlook and have members of the family focus on positive things that happened that day. Share these moments while eating together at the table.
  • Accept your child for who he/she is. Accept your child. Embrace their strengths and celebrate their differences
  • Believe in your child.  Trust in your child’s ability to succeed and make good choices. Your child will feel valued if he or she knows you believe in their abilities and talents.
  • Offer encouragement. Promote your child trying new things. Lead by example and try new skills (skiing, horseback riding, basketball etc.) with your child
  • Demonstrate respect. Use kind language, listen attentively to your child about his or her ideas
  • Make time for quality time. Turn off the computer, the phones and personal electronic devices and have some fun with your child.
  • See your child as an individual. Avoid comparing your child to siblings or other children. Children need to be recognized for their individual strengths
  • Avoid Competition. Avoid creating competitions or offering rewards for behaviours that are expected. You want your child to be intrinsically motivated.
  • Listen to your child. Children need to be heard. Engage in the conversation and actively listen to them. Choose fun places to have a great chat – on a hike, in a canoe, folding the laundry, raking the leaves. The most important thing is that you hear your child. Give them one-on-one attention and eye-to-eye contact.
  • Tell your story. When your children feel afraid, sad or frustrated, you can comfort them by sharing your life experiences through a story. They will be able to connect with what you say because they trust you and depend on you for so much. You can act it out and do some role modelling. Reassure them that every person, child or adult, has fears and it is the way we choose to conquer the fears that is important.
  • Help your child to set goals. Talk about things they would like to do or try to do with more success. Set some goals with your child and teach your child that sometimes a person needs to try something more than once or twice before they are successful in achieving it. Use examples from your own life.
  • Take things day by day. Make a calendar and fill in one great, healthy, or active thing the family did as a group! Share it with friends!

Encouraging Words (for school & home)

  • “I like the way you…..”
  • “I know you can……”
  • “I appreciate that you…..”
  • “It looks like you worked very hard….”
  • “I liked your thinking when…”
  • “You made me feel really good when…”
  • “I think you are doing a great job at …”
  • “Thank you for…”
  • “You’re improving…”
  • “Well Done!”
  • “Congratulations on…”
  • “I was proud of you when I …”
  • “Thank you for including your sister/brother when you played…”
  • “It was very kind of you to…”
  • “You demonstrated thoughtfulness when…”
  • “You made a difference when…”
  • “You amaze me”