Take some time this week to sprinkle in some of these suggestions into your daily routines and see how your child responds.
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Are you willing to be flexible too?  I often see children blossom in self-confidence and self-esteem when they learn how express themselves and feel like they are being heard and respected. Research shows that when children who work on complex tasks were praised for their efforts, they performed better on challenging future tasks. When a child learns some ways to express their needs at times it’s like the floodgates open, often with lots of testing.  Inflexible parents may struggle in this period of growth wanting your child to express their needs, and then realizing that it may mean changing how you do things, your perceptions, or a willingness to do things totally different. Really, who wants to see a loved one in pain or hurt?  However, minor bumps or problems are opportunity to learn how to negotiate differences, speak-up for what you believe in, and find ways to overcome life’s obstacles. Children who were told by the researcher “they must be smart” were less likely to take risks on future tasks and increase their performance. Kids are smart and want to know you acknowledge their individualized efforts, keep it real. To be honest, it’s often easier for a child to shift their behaviors, than for an adult whose been repeating these behaviors for 20 + years.  So take inventory of ways you can be flexible and allow your child to develop their voice.
These experiences provide opportunities for divergent thinking, flexibility, innovative ideas and new possibilities.
Erickson believed we go through stages of development and as we master these challenges we move to the next stage.  For children between 5-12 (Latency) child work to master Competence. Perhaps children who are praised are fearful of losing that praise or being seen as less than (can you relate)? Here are ten simple strategies to help boost your child's self-esteem:Give unconditional love.


So encourage your child to seek out ways they can solve a problem before you jump in to fix things. This stage is about developing skills, forming values, learning, exploring new things, and mastering interests. So take time to acknowledge their hard work, tenacity, effort, responsibility, and help them to continue to expand and challenge themselves so that their sense of self is not dependent upon what others think. Additionally, if they learn that they can state their needs with adults and be heard and respected (even when you may not agree), then imagine how they navigate those teen years (and beyond) by being able to speak up to their peers about what they believe in. Every opportunity where they tackle something difficult creates a sense of accomplishment and pride, and plants the seeds in their brain that they can accomplish something challenging. Learning to practice, commit to, and follow-through are ways to help your child develop a sense of mastery. Find out what your child is interested in (such as art, music, sports) and help them fine-tune these skills.
They will feel a sense of accomplishment and self-pride and they learn and master new things. That does wonders for your child's self-worth because it sends the message that you think he's important and valuable.It doesn't have to take a lot of time. It means taking a moment to stop flicking through the mail if he's trying to talk with you or turning off the TV long enough to answer a question. Make eye contact so it's clear that you're really listening to what he's saying.When you're strapped for time, let your child know it without ignoring his needs. Say, "Tell me all about the picture you drew, and then when you're finished, I'll need to make our dinner."Teach limits.
For instance, if you tell your child he has to eat his snack in the kitchen, don't let him wander around the family room with his crackers and fruit the next day.Knowing that certain family rules are set in stone will help him feel more secure.
It may take constant repetition on your part, but he'll start to live by your expectations soon enough.
Encourage your child to explore something new, such as trying a different food, finding a new pal, or riding a trike. Though there's always the possibility of failure, without risk there's little opportunity for success.So let your child safely experiment, and resist the urge to intervene. For instance, try not to "rescue" him if he's showing mild frustration at figuring out a new toy.


The flip side, of course, of having choices and taking risks is that sometimes your child is bound to make mistakes.
These are valuable lessons to build your child's confidence.So if your child puts his plate too close to the edge of the table and it tips, encourage him to think about what he might do differently next time. That way his self-esteem won't sag and he'll understand that it's okay to make mistakes sometimes.When you goof up yourself, admit it, says Daniel Meier, assistant professor of elementary education at San Francisco State University. Everyone responds well to encouragement, so make an effort to acknowledge the good things your child does every day within his earshot. If your child is trying to tell you something, stop and listen to what he has to say, even if you don't understand all his words. He needs to know that his thoughts and feelings matter.Help him get comfortable with his emotions by labeling them.
Say, "I understand you're sad because you have to say bye to your playmates."By accepting his emotions without judgment, you validate his feelings and show that you value what he has to say. If you share your own feelings ("I'm excited about going to the zoo"), he'll gain confidence expressing his own.Resist comparisons. Comments such as ""Why can't you be nice like Peter?" will just make your preschooler feel bad about himself.
If your child gets frustrated because he can't do things his peers can ("I can't catch a ball like Sophia!"), show him empathy and then emphasize one of his strengths. Keep going!" Encouragement means acknowledging progress — not just rewarding achievement. So if your preschooler is struggling to fasten his snaps, say, "You're trying very hard and you almost have it!" instead of "Not like that.
One rewards the task while the other rewards the person ("You did it!" rather than "I'm proud of you!"). Praise can make a child feel that he's only "good" if he does something perfectly.Encouragement, on the other hand, acknowledges the effort.



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