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A Canadian expert gives us four ways parents can help a child develop healthy self-esteem

Parents play a crucial role in guiding the development of their child’s self-confidence and emotional strength and balance. 

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, self-esteem is the value we place on ourselves. It is the feeling we have about all the things we see ourselves to be. It is the knowledge that we are lovable, we are capable, and we are unique.

Good self-esteem means:

  • having a healthy view of yourself,
  • having a quiet sense of self-worth,
  • having a positive outlook,
  • feeling satisfied with yourself most of the time,
  • setting realistic goals.

Sara Dimerman, founder of Parent Education Resource Centre in Thornhill Ontario and author of 'Character Is the Key' and 'Am I a Normal Parent?' suggests children who are taught to work towards goals and take pride in their successes will develop a greater sense of self worth.

Dimmerman offers the following tips to help build confidence in children:

  1. Balance competitive extra curricular activities with those that encourage personal best like swimming or karate.
  2. Don’t ask how the rest of his /her classmates did on a project, ask "did you try your best?"
  3. Frame certificates of achievement and awards to encourage your child to strive for more of the same, and foster pride in his/her accomplishments.
  4. Take away the good girl bad girl affliction and comment on actual behavior. Instead of "good girl" you can say "I really appreciate it when you help put away the dishes.

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