Enhancing Your Child’s Strengths: Tips to Boost Self-Esteem in Your Child

It is the beginning of the school year with new, and sometimes harder, demands being placed on your child; not only academically, but socially as well. Because of this, it is important that your child remain confident and understand their self-worth. Kids who know their strengths and weaknesses and feel good about themselves seem to have an easier time handling conflicts and resisting negative pressures. Kids who think poorly of themselves may have a hard time finding solutions to the right problems. Below are five practical and easy ways to cultivate self-esteem in your child.

    1.  Parent Influence – Accept your weaknesses and celebrate your strengths

Self-esteem and self confidence are learned characteristics and traits, and children need opportunities to develop them. Research tells us that parents have the longest and strongest lasting influence on their child. If you have low self-esteem, or are not confident in your abilities to succeed, this will reflect off what the child then believes about his/her self.  With encouragement, time, and awareness they can learn to embrace and enhance their capabilities as well as challenge their weaknesses.

  1. Parent Involvement – Be your child’s cheerleader

Being invested in your child’s interest, whether that be sitting on a sideline, watching a child solve a puzzle on their own, cheering them on as they finish homework, teaches your child that they can believe in themselves because they have someone who already does.

  1. Encourage Interests

It is easy to sometimes want certain activities to be important to your kids, especially if they are important to you. Also, sometimes it is hard to avoid giving off the idea that you do not want certain interests to be a part of your child’s life. In order to allow your child to develop interest and passion for something, as little rules for what is acceptable should be the goal.

Encourage them to take on tasks they show interest in and make sure they follow through with it until finished. It should not matter the task, it could be anything from playing baseball or football to conquering a level in a video game. The point is for your child to stick with what they start, so they feel a sense of accomplishment at the end.

  1. Teaching Skills – Let them help around the house

Allowing your child to problem solve on their own is a major boost of self-confidence. The more exposure the child has to learning new skills, the more opportunity there is to demonstrate their competence and feel that their contribution is valuable. At home, that means asking them everyday to help with cooking, making beds, setting the table, etc. Teaching the skills also remind your child that any problem that comes in the future, can be solved.

  1. Accepting Mistakes – Learning from failure

Lastly, it is important for your child to feel comfortable, not defeated, when he or she makes a mistake or fails at something. Explain to your child that setbacks and obstacles are part of living and learning, and that they can learn or benefit from them. Provide supportive yet constructive feedback as well as recognition of their effort to overpower any sense of failure, shame, or guilt that they might be feeling. Supportive and constructive feedback will re-establish motivation in your child and hope to do better next time. For example, “It may be helpful to try it this way,” instead of “you’ll never make it by doing it that way.”

Overall, it is helpful to think about developing and promoting self-esteem in the early childhood years. As kids try, fail, try again, fail again, and then finally succeed, they develop ideas about their own capabilities. At the same time, they’re creating a self-concept based on their interactions with people. This is why parental involvement, encouraging interests, and teaching the skills are essential to helping kids form healthy self-perceptions.

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Parent/Guardian Workshop, October 16th

Please join us on Friday, October 16th at 9 am in the Fox Hill Cafeteria.  Our topic will be:

“Raising Independent Problem Solvers:
Strategies to Teach Independence and
Promote Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills”

Problem Solving and organization comes naturally for some and is more challenging for others. This workshop will provide information, as well as, developmentally appropriate strategies to help with routines, time management, and organization. We hope you will take away a few new ideas and strategies to try at home. We also look forward to learning from you!

Please RSVP by October 14 on our form below  or by email Jessica Greene or Taylor LoConto.

Coffee and a snack will be available!

Overcoming Anxious Feelings the First Week of School

Overcoming Anxiety the First Few Weeks of School

  1. Do not overreact. 
  2. Keep calm and focus on the positives.
  3. Model optimism and confidence for your child. Bring up past successes that may relate to entering a new school year.
  4. Reassure them that you will be there at the end of the school day.
  5. Reinforce your child’s ability to cope. Give them a few strategies to manage a difficult situation on his or her own.
  6. Encourage friendships- help them identify and connect a peer at school

It may be helpful to volunteer in your child’s classroom.  Contact the school to meet with your child’s teachers and school psychologist if you have additional concerns for your child’s anxious feelings. They can offer support that will help identify and reduce the problem, as well as suggest some strategies to try at home. Children are resilient; with your encouragement each day, they will have a successful school year!

** Adapted from National Association of School Psychologists parent hand-out (2014)

Common Questions for School Psychologists

Common Questions for a School Psychologist

Is there one school psychologist in every building in the district? How do I find the one in my child’s school?

In the Burlington district, there is one school psychologist in every building. To find the school psychologist in your child’s school, refer to the staff directory.

Do school psychologists only work with special education students?

No. School psychologists serve all students in need. They help to develop interventions for students in the general education population who may be experiencing challenges in academic, social, behavioral, and/or social-emotional functioning. They also work with students in special education who have Individualized Educational Plans (IEP’s).

Who do the school psychologists collaborate with?

School Psychologists collaborate with classroom teachers, principals, students, parents, and other service providers within the community to address a variety of issues which students may confront including fears about attending school, difficulty organizing time efficiently, falling behind in school work and concerns about life experiences.

How can I get in touch with my child’s school psychologist?

I can be reached by phone at (781) 238-5681 and by email at tloconto@bpsk12.org. I do not have set office hours but if you leave your name and phone number, I will be sure to call you back at the earliest convenience! Lines are open for anyone 🙂

***Reminder: Back to School Night is this Thursday (9/10)! I will be in my office so be sure to stop by if you have any questions!.. I have AC =)