Enhancing Your Child’s Self-Esteem

By Paul Holinger, MD

Self-esteem is one of the most discussed issues among parents and infant and child developmentalists. Psychologically, self-esteem can become quite complicated, but let’s stick to the basics and see if we can shed some light on it.

Self-esteem can be defined as a confidence and satisfaction in oneself. How can this be achieved? How does one’s own internal sense of self-esteem relate to external assessment of those around us?

In general, of course, the real key to self-esteem is loving and encouraging your child — life itself will provide enough problems — loving and valuing the child for himself or herself, who he or she is. This is often easier said than done, especially if the parents have not been loved and valued. Paying attention to your child, listening to her, being interested in her and how she feels and what she thinks — all these help solidify the child’s internal self-cohesion and give her the sense she is of value — i.e., self-esteem.

What else might one do to help enhance self-esteem? Continue reading