5 Ways to Grow Your Child’s Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is such a difficult topic. When should we start addressing it? I believe the earlier the better. A friend mentioned that her six year old was worried what others think of her with serious effects.

Many of our perceptions of ourselves are developed during our formative years. I’m sure you can quickly think of a story of feeling criticized. What kind of self-esteem do you want your children to have? What are you modeling to them? You can’t tell them they are beautiful while you disparage yourself. Human beings are smarter than that. We learn what we are shown. To further my dream of changing self-esteem for the better, here are five ways you can help grow their self-esteem in a healthy way.

I hope my son will learn to measure his self-esteem by his actions not just his appearance.

I hope my son will learn to measure his self-esteem by his actions not just his appearance.

 

 

1. Teach them that the definition of beautiful is up to them.

How we see people should be as much about trying to see their souls as it is about external appearances. When you start trying to see other people at their core you start to see yourself in a more forgiving and loving light.

2. Show them that the images they see are retouched to an extreme degree.

Watch this Dove commercial. If you think it’s appropriate, watch it with your children. Watch America’s Next Top Model. Fast forward through the terrible cat fights. The photo shoots require long times in hair and makeup and custom clothing from famous designers. The photo shoots require an army of people to build sets, light it, and give each girl the opportunity to model.

3. Teach them not to compare themselves to others.

From possessions to physical appearance. Praise them for doing things that expand their heart. If you catch them being generous or kind with another child, commend them for it.

4. There’s beauty all around us.

Get them an age appropriate camera and encourage them to record things they find beautiful. Butterflies, patterns in a sidewalk and nature are just a few ideas. This will be an important exercise to develop their own sense of what is “beautiful” instead of making what we see on TV and in magazines their beauty ideal. This is a great way to capture their world and scrapbook their changing ages.

5. Tell them you find them beautiful/handsome.

This idea gets criticized as being shallow, but I mean for it to complement the other points. Some children aren’t told they are beautiful. Sometimes we think, “Well they must know!” But everyone, young and old, wants and needs to hear it.

Iman

 

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Iman is a photographer who, through her unique process of coaching and photography, can show a woman what other people see when they look at her. She is passionate about teaching other photographers how to live and be a professional and making change in the world. She dreams of changing the way women look at their bodies and how the world defines beauty. She also thinks being an instructor on CreativeLIVE would be incredible. Iman battles Lyme disease and shares her unique view of dreaming while fighting for her health. Her post day is Wednesday. info@imanwoods.com Iman Woods If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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  • I love this post – thanks so much for the tips as I so desperately want my daughter to have that inner health!

  • Your photography takes my breath away.  Your dream is truly inspiring.  I cannot wait to see how you change your world.   I love this, “From possessions to physical
    appearance. Praise them for doing things that expand their heart. If you
    catch them being generous or kind with another child, commend them for
    it.” Great stuff.Cath

  • This post just made my heart smile. I can see that you just empower your kids so much! Wow, Well done. I am definitely going to take this advice with my angel.

    • ImanWoods

      Thank you, Sue. I try, but of course could be better. It will be a practice over our lifetimes!

  • This is always a tough subject, but supporting your children and helping them build healthy self esteem will carry them so far in their adult life. Thanks for sharing Iman!

    Heather

    • ImanWoods

      I hope so. I think starting early is ideal. Thanks, Heather.