Last Updated on September 2, 2021.
It’s important to encourage positive self-concept in our kids, but it can be challenging when they are constantly comparing themselves to their friends. Here’s why fostering a positive self-concept is important, plus 15 proven techniques that you can use to help your child feel more confident and positive about who they are!
What is a positive self-concept?
A positive self-concept is when a person feels positive about themselves. They feel they are worthy and good enough, even if they have flaws or imperfections. When you have a positive self-concept, you don’t need other people to validate you.
A positive self-concept is an important part of mental health and emotional well-being because it helps us feel good about who we are. It can help boost our mood and make life more enjoyable.
Benefits of a positive self-concept
Encouraging positive self-concepts helps our children by giving them a positive view of themselves and their abilities, which can contribute to greater confidence and success at school, work, or other activities.
Here are some other benefits to having a positive self-concept:
- lead to greater happiness
- can help with building relationships
- improves their mental health
- can help with stress management
- helps them to overcome adversity and setbacks
How do you develop a positive self-concept?
Developing a positive self-concept takes time and patience. It does not happen overnight. To develop a positive self-concept in kids, we need to constantly nurture their positive attributes and encourage positive behavior.
It’s also important to monitor their social interactions, especially online. Their peers can have a big impact on their self-concept. It’s important to note that you cannot control these outside influences, but you can certainly help your children work through them in a positive way.
15 Tips to Encourage a Positive Self Concept
Here are 15 tips to encourage a positive self-concept in your kids.
Try to avoid using labels when possible. Labels can be positive or negative, but they often lead to a lot of self-doubt and negativity in our children. Labels like “my athletic child” or “my social butterfly” can influence their self-concept.
Encourage a Growth Mindset
A growth mindset is when you believe that anything is possible with patience, hard work, and perseverance. The opposite of a growth mindset is a fixed mindset, where you believe you’re born a certain amount of intelligence and skill, and you can never rise above that.
You can encourage a growth mindset by recognizing and encouraging your child’s effort (not their accomplishments), framing failure as an opportunity for learning and growth, and offering challenges to kids regularly.
Use Positive Language
Talking about positive values and what you appreciate in your children can help develop a positive self-concept. It’s important to be positive and provide positive feedback.
Have positive interactions with your children every day. Do something fun and positive together, like playing a game or reading a book. When you make time for your kids, they feel loved and value, which can translate to a positive self-concept.
Expressing gratitude towards your child for what they have done and who they are is important for their development. They’ll learn that they are valued and to appreciate who they are.
Require Contributions At Home
Being a part of a team or a community is key to developing positive self-concepts. Require that your children contribute to the home and take on responsibilities (without allowance or rewards). Your children will feel confident and capable.
Practice Lazy Parenting
Lazy parenting is when we expect children to do things on their own. In other words, don’t do things for your child if they are capable of doing it for themselves. This helps them learn that they can be independent and capable, which leads to positive self-concepts.
When your children are able to do something on their own without any help from you, they feel good about themselves and have positive self-concepts. Encourage them in tasks like making a bed or doing the dishes.
Foster Intrinsic Motivation
Foster intrinsic motivation by allowing your children to make their own decisions and encouraging them to try new things. They’ll learn that they have the power and ability, which leads to positive self-concepts.
Practice Goal Setting With
You can help to encourage positive self-concepts by practicing goal setting together with your children. It’s a great way for them to learn about their strengths and develop positive attributes.
Practice Positive Affirmations together
Practice positive affirmations together with your child. When they say positive things out loud, it helps them believe those positive statements about themselves.
Set & Enforce Boundaries
Setting and enforcing boundaries for your children teaches them self-discipline and positive behaviors, which leads to positive self-concepts.
Encourage individuality in your children! Let them choose clothes and hairstyles that fit them. Your child will feel confident to be different from others, which can lead to positive self-concepts.
Avoid negative talk about your body
Body image is a big part of our self-concept. Encourage positive body image in your children by not talking about negative aspects of your own body. You can take it a step further and talk about how amazing your body is, even if it’s not perfect. Point out that it allows you to do amazing things like hike and swim. Or that it’s capable of growing and birthing babies. Encourage your children to love their bodies too.
Praise Effort (not Outcomes)
What counts when you’re a kid is how hard you try, not what the outcome of your effort is. Encourage positive self-talk in children by praising their efforts instead of performance or outcomes. Try phrases like:
- “You tried so hard!”
- “I can see that you really wanted to beat him.”
- “It looks like it was tough but you still made it.”
- “It’s great that you never gave up!”
The Bottom Line
Positive Self-Concept is important to help kids build self-esteem and achieve lifelong success. The more positive thoughts a child has about him or herself, the better they will feel about themselves.
What You Should Do Next…
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