Let’s face it—being a kid is hard. School, homework, recreational activities, family obligations, physical and emotional changes, social media and friendship struggles can stress out even the most confident child. Fortunately, there are ways parents can help their children bust through the overwhelm and grow a healthy, positive sense of self—and crystals can help too!
Why Self-Esteem Matters in Kids
Self-esteem is crucial to childhood development. Kids use self-esteem to cope with disappointment, learn from mistakes, respond to peer pressure, assert their creativity and individuality, make good choices, and grow healthy relationships. Simply put—building a healthy, positive self-esteem in children sets them up for success as an adult.
3 Ways to Tell if Your Child is Struggling with Self-Esteem
1. They avoid new challenges.
Children struggling with self-esteem often lack the confidence to try a new skill, subject, or game. They may give up or grow frustrated at the first signs of challenge, or even cheat or lie when they think they are going to fail or lose.
2. They lack energy and/or motivation.
Low self-esteem in children can also manifest in physical symptoms like depression, anxiety, insomnia and chronic fatigue. Unhealthy behaviors such as drinking, drug use, and disordered eating have also been linked to low self-esteem.
3. They display an increase in hostile or agitated behavior.
For a child with low self-esteem, throwing tantrums and lashing out can serve as a defense mechanism against potential or perceived criticism. Unprovoked aggression may also be the only way a child with low self-esteem feels they can deal with their self-directed anger and frustration.
3 Ways to Help Your Child Build Self-Esteem
1. Praise their positive qualities.
Help your child see the big picture by praising their daily habits and processes, not just their accomplishments and outcomes. Using task- or effort-dependent encouragement such as, “I am proud of you for trying to tackle that math problem even though it was really hard.” Rather than outcome-dependent encouragement like, “I’m proud of you for making an A on your math test.” This creates a safe space where children are free to try without fear of failure.
It’s also important to be mindful of your words and actions. While there are certainly times where constructive criticism is required, unnecessarily critical comments can send the wrong message. Comments such as, “Good job on your math test, but you could have gotten an A if you paid more attention in class.”
2. Help them identify their feelings.
Children with low self-esteem often struggle with identifying their feelings. They may even feel as though they aren’t allowed to feel the way they do or to express those feelings.
Before rushing in to save them from their uncomfortable emotions, give them a moment to sort out their feelings for themselves. Ask fact-finding questions to help them along: How do they feel, physically? What would make them feel better? Is there anything you can do to help?
Patiently waiting for your child to identify, express, and resolve their feelings will help them build confidence in their ability to navigate highly emotional situations in the future.
3. Validate their feelings.
Validation is not praise, it is a way to let your child know you’re listening, even if you don’t agree. Instead of stepping in to quickly praise or criticize emotional expression, look for ways to validate their experience. For example: “Sounds like you’re disappointed you didn’t make the baseball team.” Or, “I understand you felt left out when I was helping your sister with her homework.”
Tools to Help Your Child Build Self-Esteem
Our Rock Your Worth Kids Collection is a great tool to help you child build self-esteem. Learn more about our Kid’s Collection here, and find out which crystal can help your child overcome challenges.