Confidence and self esteem in children

Self esteem takes time to grow and it can fluctuate from high to low and somewhere in-between. To be able to have high self esteem, one must believe in their abilities and in themselves. When we do, it’s this self-belief that allows us to try new things, challenge ourselves, take criticism, make mistakes and build friendships. And whilst this all sounds great, it’s important to note that it’s impossible to maintain the same levels of self esteem because doubts can get in the way and on occasion, we may feel insecure or unmotivated too. 

But what does low confidence and self esteem in children look like? How can we parents understand how confident our children are and how their self esteem is doing? This month, The Wandsworth Preschool will be helping parents to identify low self esteem in children and things we can do to improve it. 

Levels of confidence and self esteem in children

Children become self-aware between the ages of two and three and in the early years, they must feel secure and comfortable in order to develop self-confidence. Examples such as comforting a child when they cry or feel ill, listening to them contently, responding to them when they talk, doing activities together and encouraging them with positive feedback. 

It’s likely that all of these examples come naturally to you and that your child has high self esteem but sometimes, even with all of the aforementioned support, children can still experience low levels of self esteem. Low self esteem can stem from a number of things such as change, bullying, tests, and sometimes there might not be a clear reason. But what’s important to remember is that confidence and self esteem in children can be raised.

Understanding a child’s confidence and self esteem levels isn’t always simple, so to get a better gauge, refer to the lists below. It’s perfectly normal to see elements of both in your child but if you notice that they have more low self esteem qualities than high self esteem qualities, then keep reading to see what you can do to help raise it. 

How to know if a child has high self esteem 

If your child has good levels of confidence and self esteem, it’s likely that: 

  • They’re positive about themselves 
  • They make friends easily 
  • They’re willing to try something new 
  • They attempt to solve problems without asking for help first 
  • They aren’t set back by mistakes and will try again
  • They adapt to change quickly

How to know if a child has low self esteem 

If your child has poor levels of confidence and self esteem, it’s likely that:

  • They’re negative about themselves 
  • Making friends isn’t easy 
  • They fear trying new things 
  • They feel isolated 
  • They find it hard to accept failure 
  • Change is hard

How to boost confidence and self esteem in children

If your child is showing some of the qualities from the low self esteem list above, try not to worry, here are some things you can do to help your little one. 

Value effort over perfection
If children are too focused on succeeding, they can often be scared to make mistakes and can be hard on themselves when the outcome isn’t perfect. To show them that it’s OK to make mistakes, reassure them that it’s all part of learning and that you make mistakes too! 

Provide hands-on support
Children learn best by copying what they see, so if they’re learning to draw, help them hold a colouring pencil and guide their hand across the piece of paper. As they get older and more confident, you can do activities together but separately, so that their need for hands-on support lessens over time. 

Take them to preschool
Getting children used to an educational routine, other children and teachers at preschool is a great way to prepare them for further education. It can help to boost a child’s self-confidence and self esteem by bonding with other children of a similar age over activities they’re all trying together for the first time. 

Find out what they’re good at and where they can improve
If your child is an avid artist, make sure you put time aside in the week so that they can practice their skills and gain confidence in this area. As for things they could improve upon, it’s good to ask their preschool teachers so that they can practice these activities in the comfort of their own home and with a little extra hands-on support! 

Connect with The Wandsworth Preschool

At The Wandsworth Preschool, we’re dedicated to supporting children in the early years and building strong foundations to ensure they get the best head start. And thanks to our fully qualified and caring team, we’re able to listen to each individual child and tailor their activities to meet their needs and requirements so that they can explore, discover, create and learn in a way that works for them. 

Get a feel for our state-of-the-art preschool and take a virtual tour! If you like what you see and would like to speak to our dedicated practitioners, contact us today.

We hope you found this blog useful and if you would like to read more, please feel free to follow this link through to our blogs page. We update this page regularly with the latest news and advice in child care and care education.