We all want our children to be confident and happy in their own skin but what should we do when they are struggling with their self-esteem?
It’s so hard to see your child wrestling with new friendships and transitions. Maybe you are battling to get your child out of the door some mornings? Maybe you are listening to them describe themselves alone at break time? Maybe you are watching your once bright and bouncy child turn inwards? It’s heart-breaking but there are positive steps you can take to help your child through any transition whatever their age.
- Model confidence yourself:
Show your child that you can try new things, fail and be ok with it. Show them that you can meet new people (other parents in the playground) and be ok with it. Explain to them if you find hard to start conversations with new people and what you do to get through it.
- Have a set of family affirmations
Come up with 3 or 4 family sentences that you can repeat together when they are showing signs of feeling worried about school. Ones we use in our house are “I am loved” “I am funny” “My best is good enough”.
- Praise their difference
Whatever it is that sets them apart from others makes them special and unique. If they are quiet or shy, praise their considered approach, if they are a bag of jumping beans praise their creativity and energy, if they don’t fit into the gender norms at school praise their individuality.
- Get involved with something outside of school
Whatever they love doing, sport, art, music, gaming. Find a club outside school which will allow them to make relationships with children who have similar interests to them. At our drama classes, we focus specifically on raising self-esteem and confidence through creative activites whilst creating new friendships.
- Reward resilience
If your child is struggling with transition at school a week is a LONG time. Praise their resilience at turning up each day. Maybe there could be a treat at the end of the week or something to look forward to at the end of each day. Praising their ability to get through the difficult time themselves will boost their self-esteem.
- Show your love and surround them with it
Let them know that whatever happens you are there at the end of the day. Whatever happens, you love them unconditionally and that they are loved for being exactly who they are.
About the author
Nicky Davin runs the award-winning Helen O’Grady Drama Academy Sussex. Helen O’Grady is a Developmental Drama academy which focuses on speech, language and self-esteem. They have classes across Sussex. Get in touch for a free trial.