Ever notice that when your self-esteem game is strong, you can confidently approach anything that comes your way?
When it wavers though, life feels tougher than it should. And when this happens with small children, it can feel almost insurmountable for them.
That’s why helping them develop healthy self-esteem in toddlerhood is one of the best things you can do as a parent. According to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, it paves the way for them to confront problems, resist peer pressure, and simply feel happy when they’re all grown up.
If we can help our tiny tots bring out their best and have positive self-esteem, we are giving them a never-ending gift that will outlast any toy we ever buy them. Here are some tips on how to help your toddler build that healthy self-esteem.
1. Give them choices
Letting kids have a say empowers them. However, at the toddler stage, you’ll have to provide a practical set of options to choose from. Ask them if they’d prefer their black or blue jacket before leaving. Give them 3 choices of things you’re willing and able to make for dinner. Whatever it is, let them learn how to make choices on their own so they will be better prepared when tougher choices come at them later in life.
2. Resist the urge to help with everything
When danger calls, absolutely step in immediately. Otherwise, take a seat and bite your tongue. Toddlers need to do things for themselves. Even if they’re taking FOREVER to get dressed, chill out and let them. Kids have to learn independence. Eventually, they will dress faster (and not mismatch everything) but you will give them the confidence to be themselves if you just let it go.
3. Don’t expect perfection
You’re not perfect, so why expect that of your toddler? Let’s say your child spills milk all over the floor. How you react is what will shape your child’s reaction. Hide your annoyance and say, “Oops! That’s ok! You can use the paper towels to clean it up.” Doing so will show your child life is messy and it happens, and nothing needs to be perfect.
4. Watch how you praise
As kids move into toddlerhood, you have to remember that gushing over every little thing they do isn’t very helpful. Instead, target your praise. If your child comes to you with a drawing of your home, compliment specific features of the drawing like how the little details they’ve included make it look like your home.
5. Teach them how to use elbow grease
Responsibilities are best learned through chores. Even toddlers can help around the house with things like setting the table, picking up toys, and watering plants.
6. Spend one-on-one time together
No matter how many children you have, it’s important to take time at least once a week to spend alone with each child. It doesn’t need to cost a fortune or require hours of time either. Go on a bike ride together, play a game in the yard, or go for some ice cream. It really doesn’t matter as long as you give your child your undivided attention so you can bond.
When you do these things with your toddler, you’ll watch them grow into an incredible, thoughtful, and confident adult.
For now, enjoy those sweet and tender toddler moments because they’ll go by in the blink of an eye!
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