Advice for building a child's self-esteem

Barbara Olinger, MSW Parenting Consultant, shares advice for parents on various ways that they can help to build their child's self-esteem
Parenting Tips | Advice For Building A Child's Self-Esteem
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Advice for building a child's self-esteem

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One way that we can help our children build their self-esteem is through a non-judgmental approach. Some examples of this are if a child shows you their painting, instead of saying, "Beautiful job, that's a beautiful painting," we can say, "Wow I can see so many colors," or, "Tell me about your painting," or, "What do you like about your painting?" If it's activities, instead of saying, "Good job," we can say, "You climbed up and slid down all by yourself. It took a lot of work to build that tower," or, "You did it." By doing it this way we change it from the focus on the end product to we notice the process, we notice the motivation, and we describe what we see. And in this way, kids can own their own experiences. It takes a lot of practice to do this and you can say it with a lot of enthusiasm. And in doubt you can just say, "Wow!" because children don't want to be judged. They want to be noticed. They want to know that you have seen them for what they're doing and that you encourage them to own their own experiences. This leads to a sense of mastery, which is the cornerstone of self-esteem.

Barbara Olinger, MSW Parenting Consultant, shares advice for parents on various ways that they can help to build their child's self-esteem

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Barbara Olinger, MSW

Parenting Consultant

Barbara Olinger has her master's degree in social work and has been working with children and families in both therapeutic and educational settings for over 30 years. She is currently Director of Family Development at the YWCA Santa Monica/Westside and has a private practice focusing on parenting education and teacher training.  She is the author of the parenting book, Growing From the Roots: A Practical Guide to the Art of Parenting, now on DVD along with Welcoming Your Second Child. She has two sons, ages 23 and 20 years old.  

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