Love, Always

School’s out! Parents: 10 ways to help your child build more self-esteem this summer.

Beach days. Picnics. Concerts. Popsicles! There’s so much to savor + do during these precious summer months. Why not add “build self-esteem” to the list?

Here are 10 simple ways to do it:

1.   Let your child pick a fun family activity for the weekend. Depending on their age, you may need to give them a few choices. Praise them for making a great choice.

2.   Encourage your child to try a new activity (like a new sport, music lessons or dance). Tell your child, “Whatever you choose to do, I know that you’ll give it your all and do your very best.”

3.   Take advantage of long walks outside (or drives to the beach) to hold conversations about self-esteem. Remind your child, “Being good at dance or winning a soccer game is great, but I will always love you, no matter what. You will always be loved, just for being you.”

4.   Learn something new together — like the name of a particular plant that you spotted on a walk, or the history of your hometown. Say to your child, “It’s wonderful to be curious! You’re so smart. You learn new things so quickly.”

5.   Give up one of your favorite items for a day (like your cell phone or coffee). Have your child do the same (with an iPad or stuffed animal). Explain that our favorite items can be useful and fun, but that it’s important to remember that you can still be happy, without them.

6.   Give your child a new chore or responsibility at home. Pick one that you think they’ll excel at. When they’re done, praise them for an excellent job.

7.   If your child says self-critical things (like “I’m stupid” or “I suck at that game”), instead of trying to fix it (“No, you’re not”), ask: “Why do you feel that way?” Let your child explain, and you’ll be better able to help.

8.   Have your child create a gift or write a card for a sick or underprivileged child, or an elderly neighbor or relative. Remind them: “Doing things to help other people feels good.”

9.   Start an “I Believe In Me” journal — and get a journal for your child, as well. Every night, write down a few positive things that you did that day, and encourage your child to do the same. Once a week, you can read through the “highlights of the week,” together!

10.   Laugh with your kids. Make your home a happy, safe and encouraging place … where “being you” is a good thing to be!

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PS. What was your favorite summer activity as a child? Is that a tradition that you’d like to continue, with your kids?

PPS. Did you enjoy these tips on self-esteem?

There’s more where that came from! Check out The Life Guides: short, uplifting workbooks to help you navigate life’s many challenges + transitions, with grace.