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Health Facts

General Health


Toddlers & Children




Self Esteem

The way we feel about ourselves; how we approach challenges, how we behave and respond to others and relationships, is determined by our self-esteem. We are not born with it. It requires patience and persistence to develop it, especially when dealing with children.

Children begin to learn about themselves from the moment they are born. What they see, hear and feel from those around them will develop a sense of love, value and belonging. A child's sense of oneself is the beginning of self esteem. A positive self-esteem helps children feel good about themselves and therefore they will want to try things and will feel able to achieve and succeed. A positive self-esteem in very young children is often shown in the way they do things e.g. building, playing, constructing etc. and as it develops it will determine how well they fit into group activities such as playgroups, pre school and so on. How others relate to a child affects their sense of self. Parents have a huge influence in this area, as they are with their children the most.

Because childhood is about learning, encouragement and praise is very important not only for what they succeed at, but for all the try's along the way. As a child grows they will develop an internal motivation to succeed. Children who succeed will attempt more and keep trying, gaining satisfaction and building self esteem. repeated failure could lead to a low self-esteem and the child may give up trying. It is therefore important for family and friends to praise each success, no matter how small, and encourage them to try again if they don't get it right the first time.

Take the situation of a child learning to walk; when he first starts out he will certainly falter, stumble and fall many times before he will take those first steps, but we continuously encourage them to get up and try again and praise them for the advancement they have made. Treat all things with the same enthusiasm, being aware that they might not get it right straight off.

Be ready to give assistance but not too ready to do it for them as the child needs to feel a sense of achievement in doing it himself. Listen to what they say and the stories they tell. hey are growing and they need to share their world with you.

Things Children Need

  1. They need to be loved
  2. They need to be accepted and have a sense of belonging
  3. They need to feel they can do things and be useful
  4. They need to feel independent, unique and special
  5. They need to be happy.

How do we do this?

  1. Give them your time and hugs
  2. Smile and be interested in them
  3. Praise their efforts, notice what they do
  4. encourage them to keep trying
  5. Tolerate mistakes while they are learning
  6. Respect them, give a little independence by allowing choices and decisions
  7. Give them time to play and to be children
  8. Encourage interests and friendships
  9. Give them space to be themselves and express themselves, at the same time guiding them with love.