All children have strengths and weaknesses—this is part of what makes us human. It is important to embrace a child's strengths and help them navigate ways in which they can flourish using these innate talents. Regarding their weaknesses, it is important to teach a child how to compensate while also improving their skills. Additionally, it is crucial to empower children and to focus on their self-esteem. We can do this by reminding them that they are tested on strengths and weaknesses in school each day. However, once they develop and choose a career, they will spend the majority of their time engaged in talents and strengths.
Improved self-esteem is powered by experiencing genuine success. Therefore, while a child may struggle with a subject (or two) in school, it is best to praise the child for their authentic effort, because the effort is an element within their control. This will increase the likelihood of success and therefore elicit higher self-esteem. Additionally, it is beneficial to have the child experience success in other activities. This can range from being part of a team to helping a parent bake a cake. What is important is that the child genuinely succeeds and receives praise from caregivers.
An increase in self-esteem is impacted by experiencing genuine success. Therefore, while a child may struggle with a subject (or two) in school, it is best to praise the child for their effort as that is the only element they can control and what will increase the likelihood of success and therefore elicit higher self-esteem. Additionally, it is beneficial to have the child experience success in other activities - this can range from being part of a team or helping a parent bake a cake. The important features are that the child genuinely succeeds and receive praise from their caregivers.
Dr. Tamar Blank is a licensed psychologist in New York and New Jersey with a practice in Riverdale, NY. She specializes in working with children and families that struggle with daily stressors and self-esteem. Additionally, she consults with multiples private and public schools in order to best help parents and teachers help children that present with difficulties. For more information, she can be reached at www.DrTamarBlank.com
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