Self-worth is about who I am. People with a strong sense of self say things like – I am valuable, I am competent, I am loveable. These beliefs we have are at our core and they don’t change, even when we stumble. We usually talk more about self-esteem, which is about what we accomplish or what we do and it can change on a dime.
Try these tips for fostering a healthy self-worth in your children.
1. Respect their feelings and opinions.
The fastest way to demean a child is to discount what they’re feeling and thinking. While you won’t always agree, you can let them know you understand by listening and then acknowledging them. Hear them out as they express their opinion about things and they will feel they matter.
2. Encourage them.
Support their interests even if they are not yours.
3. Let them fail.
They need to. As hard as this is to watch, be reminded that failure contributes to a healthy sense of self. Use the failure as a learning experience. This teaches them about competence and capability.
4. Let them make decisions.
That means refrain from telling them what to do or how to do it whenever possible. The message this sends to them is that you have confidence in their ability to come up with the solution that’s right for them.
5. Love them unconditionally.
If children are loved this accepting way, they think well of themselves.