Positive self-beliefs spur us to try new things and take up challenges. People with positive self-beliefs are more conﬁdent and are able to cope with the demands of life. Children who often experience setbacks and failures may develop low self-esteem. They are often unwilling to try new things because of the fear of failure. Thus it is very important that parents help them feel good about themselves, tell them that they are valued and loved for who they are, guide them in tasks to help them experience success. Some of the ways you can enhance self-beliefs in your children are as follows:
- Set realistic and achievable goals for your children. Parents know best about the strengths and weaknesses of their children. Help your children progress gradually towards targeted goals that you have set for them. Learning should be fun and enjoyable. The more success children experience, the more motivated they become.
- Convey the message that you believe in them. This will help them to believe in themselves. Children can hear and see whether you approve or disapprove of their actions through your voice as well as your body language. Your approval means a lot to them.
- Acknowledge efforts of your children improving their works/behaviors at every attempt. Provide immediate reinforcement and celebrate little successes. It is also important to tell them specifically what it is that they did well, for examples, “good tracing”, “good reading”, “good sharing”, etc.
- Nurture strong internal self-beliefs by instilling the “I Can” attitude through modeling positive self-talk i.e. getting them to say positive statements about themselves.
- Always give positive and constructive feedback i.e. help children learn right from wrong, talk about their misbehavior and show them ways to improve it. More importantly, tell them that it is the misbehavior that you do not approve but you still do love them. Never say that you don’t love them when they are naughty. It is like an emotional blackmail and children may get hurt. If your child throw things, we would say that the ‘hand’ is naughty and that we are angry with the naughty hand.
- Provide opportunities for them to participate in tasks and events. A simple task such as getting a piece of tissue paper for mummy from the tissue box that is on the table creates a sense of achievement for young children. Allow them to participate in school concerts, excursion and party.
- Monitor your children’s progress through collecting ‘works of achievement’. For examples, a drawing or even singing into an audiotape, etc. Review their works with them and be generous with praises.