Raising a self-confident child: why is self-esteem so important?

The role of parents brings with it an infinite amount of questions: every day we ask ourselves if what we do for our children is not only the best for them but the best we can do absolutely, we try to know them, to understand their attitudes and to make sure that they emerge.

We look for the best opportunities for them at an educational level, we make sure that they are surrounded by sufficient stimuli to satisfy their curiosity and immediately we start thinking about their future imagining how their life will be “when they grow up”.

We often ask ourselves what are the best means we can offer them so that as adults they achieve the goals they most desire: prestigious schools, language courses, sports activities. Every choice is functional to prepare them a future made as much as possible of solid certainties.

All this, needless to say, has its own undeniable importance, which however becomes a priceless wealth when it is accompanied by a gift that is priceless and without which there is no school or goal that holds: self-esteem.

Children with low self-esteem: how to interpret signals

The ability of a mother, a father or an educator to inculcate the correct esteem and love for one’s own person before teaching life and notions, remains one of the main qualities of a “good” parent.

We often notice even very gifted children who cannot find a channel to communicate with the world, children already giving up from an early age who throw in the towel even before undertaking anything, in constant fear of disconfirmation by the adult, children who struggle to face serenely tasks assigned to them at school as in sport and in the family out of fear, Not only not to “be up to it” but to be filmed or even worse mocked by the adult or peer group.

Children who remain on the sidelines, who already aspire to the secondary role in the end-of-year play, or who, on the contrary, manifest aggressive and provocative attitudes from an early age.

These behaviors and their many facets are all the alarm bells of a more or less important discomfort that has its roots in a low self-esteem that makes the child insecure and afraid of making mistakes.

First of all, it is good to emphasize that self-esteem is the most solid foundation on which to build one’s existence and is built day after day starting from an early age. It is not learned or acquired suddenly, but it is an awareness that develops during childhood through relationships with parents and with all the reference figures.

As Paola Santagostino writes in her “Raising a self-confident child and strengthening his self-esteem” depends on the messages he receives from parents and the environment around him. It is precisely these messages, both verbal and non-verbal, that confirm in him the conviction that he can face life serenely“.

It is a baggage that he will carry with him in his adult life: it is the certainty of being worthy of love and respect, the deep knowledge of one’s qualities as well as limits, it is confidence in one’s emotions and in the ability to interpret them, it is a realistic but always positive vision of the world around him and the opportunities he can offer. But not only that, it is strongly linked to a sense of belonging and recognition by the social context.

When you are then facing a critical moment, it is precisely those who have a fair self-esteem who are able to analyze the situation in a lucid and correct way and put in place the most useful resources in every circumstance to find the best solutions.

Showing the possibilities around us

In the daily rush, in commitments and races, it happens that we do not give too much weight to the words we pronounce, let alone to the way we do it.

Yet children, “sponges” ready to absorb everything, to our words, to our gestures, even to the intonation of our voice, they give an importance and how.

We also know that the little ones, in a range of possibilities, are always ready to grasp what they “shouldn’t” do, to put themselves in danger and so on, but we also know that our approach makes a difference.

Continuing to give prohibitions, to show what “cannot” and “must not be done”, to highlight to them the possible dangers of every situation, leads the child to continuous frustrations that often culminate in the belief that everything he does is wrong.

To avoid incurring this error, Paola Santagostino, psychologist, invites parents in her book to work first on themselves and then to “direct” the child’s explorations correctly, in a series of “positive” stimuli, which show that everything is neither dangerous nor forbidden, but there is much to explore, to see and to touch for him too.

One of the main ingredients of self-esteem consists precisely in the certainty of being able to trust one’s feelings. It is certainly not good to start convincing yourself from an early age that everything you do is wrong or potentially harmful.

The parent, who obviously has to protect the child from dangers, if he only chooses the method of warning with words “Don’t go”, “Be careful”, “You will hurt yourself”, risks generating the belief that the outside world is not within his reach, which is too dangerous to handle and deal with. The protective intentions of the parent in this case can cause an even worse damage which is to undermine trust. In summary, you can protect the little one with the concrete example of how to avoid dangers , without only emphasizing how dangerous the world is.

Unconditional love and realistic expectations

The greatest thing a mom and a dad can do for their child is to make him grow up certain that he is loved unconditionally .

It doesn’t matter if it’s a boy and mom dreamed of pink outfits and ballet shoes, if it’s quiet or lively, if it yawns at the stadium on Sundays with a football-loving dad, it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t represent an ideal or a stereotype fantasized perhaps before he was born: the child has every right to be accepted for who he is , to be understood and supported in difficulties he is encouraged to be the best of what he is, not to force himself to become who he is not and probably will not be never.

If we measure the actions of the little ones on their real aptitudes and abilities following the rhythm of their natural evolution as people, we give them the opportunity to emerge, to reach goals, to feel happy with themselves.

How many times do we hear of children considered “mediocre”, that their parents would like to be “champions” in a sport they hate? Not only are they subjected to unproductive waste of time and painful humiliations, but they lose the opportunity to express themselves in something they would rather like more.

You owe a great debt to your son,” wrote pediatrician Bernardi in his Il Nuovo Bambino . ,” wrote the pediatrician Bernardi in his .”

Kathryn Barlow is an OB/GYN doctor, which is the medical specialty that deals with the care of women's reproductive health, including pregnancy and childbirth.

Obstetricians provide care to women during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, while gynecologists focus on the health of the female reproductive system, including the ovaries, uterus, vagina, and breasts. OB/GYN doctors are trained to provide medical and surgical care for a wide range of conditions related to women's reproductive health.

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