A person’s overall internal beliefs about himself define his self-worth. Although people may use the terms self-worth and self-esteem to mean the same thing, they actually work in conjunction with each other to determine how people feel.
Encourage your child’s efforts realistically to build self-esteem, which will contribute to an overall feeling of self-worth. Not every effort will result in complete success or reaching goals. However, whenever your child works hard with both effort and time, notice the effort and comment on it to your child. By noticing and calling out effort, you place the focus on the process and not the outcome.
Notice your child’s strengths and gifts when they arise. Nobody is good at everything, but everyone has specific talents and strengths that make them special. By noticing your child’s strengths and calling them out, you help her think positively about herself, according to KidsHealth. As you notice strengths, temper these accolades by reminding your youngster that while she may have a gift for drawing, it’s okay to struggle in other areas because nobody’s perfect.
Show your child that he’s important to build self-worth. Pay attention to your child when he speaks, spend time together doing a variety of activities, show affection, say “I love you” often and encourage independence and responsibility.
Discipline your child to teach limits and expectations and to instill self-control in your youngster. If a child grows up with lax or nonexistent limits, she will not have a solid grasp of how to conduct herself in various situations. Her lack of self-control will invariably lead to social struggles, which can have a negative impact on her overall feelings of self-worth.
Accept your youngster for who he is, regardless of his weaknesses and struggles. When your child feels loved and important, despite imperfections and mistakes, you teach him that he has value. Feelings of self-acceptance connect directly to self-worth.
Stay attuned to your child’s self-esteem in various areas of her life, including academics, sports, arts and personal. Continue to offer appropriate encouragement to maintain healthy self-esteem. With a healthy “global self-esteem” — your child’s overall self-esteem — your child’s positive self-worth should follow.