How to help low self esteem, especially in children

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I get many, many inquiries about how to help low self esteem, especially in children. People are afraid they have caused low self-esteem in their children and want to know what are the best self-esteem building activities. The best self-esteem building activity besides spending time with your child WITHOUT OTHER DISTRACTIONS–most notably, constant cell phone calls, is to do activities in which your child can be successful.

If they are building a sand castle, let THEM build it. You may help minimally, such as demonstrating, but then sit back and let them do it. Tell them they built a good sand castle, that you like the way they learned how to mix the right amount of sand and water, etc. but do not tell them “Good Job.” They hear too much of that–it is a distracted and tired phrase which has lost its meaning. Be specific in your praise–but do not over-praise. This makes a child feel successful in their own mind–which is where self-confidence really resides.

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