20 September 2016
Confidence and self-esteem is something we as adults can particularly relate to and something that all of us want our children to have. We want our children to grow up happy and emotionally strong, knowing that who they are and what they stand for is enough and all that matters to them. We want them confident and comfortable in their own skin and want them to celebrate and be proud of their achievements. We want them to know their strengths and their weaknesses and to embrace the fact that they are wonderful and unique and utterly individual.
Nursery is the most amazing, early environment to nurture, develop and build a child’s healthy self-esteem. Starting young is key to underpinning and developing confidence. Why? Because once a child experiences life outside himself and his emotionally protected home, he is instantly subjected to life experiences, demands and opinions, both good and bad. Nursery controls the environment and we control the experiences with trained staff who ensure rules, boundaries and positive measures that promote kindness, empathy, emotions and feelings are central to the day, so that each child can grow in a positive and emotionally balanced harmonious manner.
A confident child with a healthy self-esteem will:
Investing time in your child’s emotional development will help prepare them for the outside world. A child will without doubt meet a ‘best friend’ who will turn to them out of the blue and say ‘you are not my friend anymore’. This can be crushing for some children will low self-esteem and their confidence can take a real knock, so how can you help at home?
There are so many simple ways to do every day for instance:
Show them and tell them all the time that you love them, then say it again, over and over.
When a child can see you love them no matter what and unconditionally adore them, he will feel safe and secure. Cuddle them, read to them, listen to them, sing together, anything you can do to spend quality time wherever possible, even if it’s just at bed time for a few minutes after a busy day at work. A few minutes is all it takes, if that’s all you have to make a child feel special and loved.
Let them do things for themselves.
Young children yearn to be independent, to show you how clever they are, even though they may spill the milk, drop the food and take eternity to put toys away, letting them have a go empowers children as they see they don’t need Mummy or Daddy’s help as they are clever and independent and making you proud.
Give them praise.
Descriptive praise is different to recognition. Descriptive praise, tells the child exactly what you are happy about. For instance, ‘well done for putting your shoes on both feet’ and ‘well done for brushing your teeth’ is exacting praise, whereas ‘what a lovely picture’ isn’t.
When they say they can’t, show them they can.
Young children often say they can’t when they are frightened of doing a task wrong, or can’t remember if they have done it before. Encouragement and perhaps a little help along with understanding to a child that you know it’s a big task but you believe in them to have a go and try will work wonders. If he tries regardless of success celebrate the effort involved.
Many of you will have waved your children off to ‘Big’ School this week and I am sure your little charges took it all in their stride. Confidence and self-esteem are two of the greatest gifts a parent can give a child as they last a lifetime and prepare them wholeheartedly with the skills to cope in the big world.
“A child’s bucket of self-esteem needs to be filled so high that the rest of the world can’t poke enough holes in it to drain it dry" - Alvin Price.
Take care everyone and have a wonderful September.
(Managing Director of Evolution Childcare)