In this day and age, the nature of self-esteem is sometimes confused with unrestrained praise. In fact, building your children's self-esteem requires a variety of strategies. Helping children feel good about themselves leads to success throughout their lives.
Building children's self-esteem requires making them feel loved and secure. However, it takes more than constantly telling them how wonderful they are. You need to help children build competence. When your child plays a sport, praise what they do well and be specific. Saying "You were really running fast out there" or "You have improved your shot making" gives them praise for effort and improvement. If you just say, "You were wonderful," no matter how well or poorly they did, you may teach them not to trust your praise and their own judgment. You may also create some over-the-top egoists with an unrealistic viewpoint of their abilities.
As a parent, you want to keep your child safe at all times. If you are overprotective, you keep your child from trying new things and gaining new abilities. Even letting your child learn to ride a bicycle comes with risk. You can minimize it by providing your child with the appropriate safety equipment, but you have to let them get a few bumps and bruises along the way. That philosophy is true throughout their lives. You need to encourage them to try new things and risk failure, whether it be as a candidate for school council in high school or as a fledgling entrepreneur as a young adult. A child who doesn't learn how to fail cannot have good self-esteem.
Positive Home Environment
Kids need a physically and emotionally safe place to live. They must have a home that is free of violence and constant arguments. They need love and affection that is freely given. If they do not get these things, they feel out-of-control and vulnerable. Children who have no safe place are unlikely to develop healthy self-esteem. When children are secure, they are better able to learn new skills.
All parents want their children to have good self-esteem, but they do not always know how to help them develop this trait. Overpraising children does not teach them competence or a realistic sense of their abilities. Genuine feedback given in a safe and loving environment along with permission to take risks can help children feel good about themselves in a healthy way. For more information on building self-esteem in children, tlak to a center like Aikido Northshore.