Providing a friendly environment at home can be the greatest gift you can give your child. Children with high self-esteem feel loved and competent and develop into happy and productive people. Self-confidence plays an impactful role in defining personality in different situations. 

Children thrive in a positive home environment with open communication.

Nowadays, any child can have issues with self-esteem, particularly when school-age children encounter mean kids and bullies. It is good to learn how to spot and defend children of all ages from bullies at school. Bullying can be physical, verbal, psychological, and emotional. Parents need to know when they should get involved or let the children handle the situations on their own. Sometimes giving space to let them manage the circumstances independently will encourage them to build self-esteem. 

We need to educate children in a simplistic approach to understanding and expressing their feelings.  They need the words to explain to the adults what they need and what they may be experiencing in their lives.

How to Communicate with your child to build self-esteem

Here are some suggestions to  cultivate strong communication and trust in your child to help them build high self-esteem to face whatever comes to them:  

Spend time with your child

You may be around your child all day and night? However, being around them and spending time with them are two different things. While you may have responsibilities, involving your child in regular chores is better than not connecting with them. Suppose you get involved with activities with them that are focused on what they want to do. In that case, you are likely to build open communication. Children are more likely to share their feelings when engaged with you. Try to keep open communication and speak in warm, friendly tones to maintain a nurturing environment. When something happens that you need to know, your child will not be afraid to open up to you. Small moments of undivided attention go a long way to helping your child know they are loved and how much you care.  

Give small reinforcements.

A child who constantly experiences reassurance feels empowered to achieve more than you might expect. Children especially respond better to positive messages than to negative entreaties.

Positive support is simple.

Support can come in the form of a pat on the back, a small hug, or a big grin while you spend quality time together. Helping your child feel good about their strengths while celebrating their efforts transmits a measurable impression on the brain. Help your child with “What If” scenarios. Role Play can intensely build self-confidence and allow your child to deal with challenges. Let them understand that their safety and well-being are important, and they should always talk to you about their concerns. 

Try to support your child’s natural interests.

Art and coloring is an easy way to spend time together.

It is challenging for a child if a parent forces them to do something they don’t feel like doing. It can turn into a power struggle. For a child with special needs, who might get annoyed faster than other children, simple chores become torture. To help the child feel powerful and proficient, search for activities that they appreciate and enjoy. Then you can mix in the requests in smaller doses. Relax with them, encourage them to color and draw pictures, or listen to their favorite music with them. Involve your child in pursuits that make them feel safe and at their level of development. There is plenty of time for them to grow into their world. You don’t want them to feel lost before they have the emotional maturity to understand. And above all, encourage them to believe that their preferences and, feelings are valued. 

Employ them in activities that celebrate their needs.

Give them small responsibilities and personalized attention. Discover engaging activities they would love to do while accepting their special needs promotes a child’s perception about their achievements. Peer acceptance can go a long way towards enhancing feelings of self-esteem. Emphasize their skills instead of complaining about what they can’t do. It strengthens the positive message that you believe in their capabilities and wants to see their progress. 

To Help Build Self-Esteem in Children with special needs

This special needs child is happy with her accomplishments at the special olympics.

When you have school-age children with special needs your life may be more complicated and feel more lonely than that of parents with less challenges. Keep in mind all parents love their children and want what is best for them. We built this website for you so you can see that others share your path. While our Ask Dr. Deb section is not meant to substitute for medical advice, Dr. Deb specializes in the emotional impact these chronic conditions have on families and children. We want to help you navigate these waters to not only help your children build self-esteem but to help you, the parent have the rewarding experience you want with your child.