If you want to give your child the gift of a lifetime, help him or her develop a positive sense of self. This will help your child to feel loved and become happy and productive. Here are five tips on how to encourage your child’s self esteem, the first two of them from Parents.com.encourage-your-child.jpg

#1 Give Choices

When you allow your child to make reasonable choices from a preselected list, you help him or her feel empowered. You could ask, “Do you want to wear your red shirt or your blue shirt today?” or “Do you want your eggs scrambled or should I hard boil one for your breakfast?” And, when you do ask those questions, you’re helping your child learn how to make choices—a crucial skill to develop before those decisions become more difficult. Your child will benefit, later, with well-developed problem solving abilities.

#2 Don’t Do Everything Yourself

It would typically be faster and easier for you to dress your preschooler, as just one example, but you will ultimately have a more confident child if you let him or her try new challenges. Encourage your child in trying new skills and assign age-appropriate chores to further bolster problem-solving skills. These chores might include folding towels and setting the table.

#3 Avoid Over Praising

The next two tips are from Todaysparent.com. And, yes, it’s important to praise your child because that helps him or her to feel loved, but don’t go overboard. Too much praise lowers the bar because, once someone believes that he or she is already doing a stupendous job, what’s the point of learning to become even more competent with that skill? When you praise your child to the point of over praise, you can also send the message that your child must be perfect, which is impossible. Your child will also start to discern that some praise is false, which is a form of lying. Finally, this is how the egomaniac child is created!

#4 Encourage Your Child to Take Healthy Risks

Sometimes, you need to stand back and let your child take healthy risks, resisting the urge to prevent failure. One mother of eight shares how she watched her two-year-old son as he tried to pour his own glass of pop from a jug at a party. She watched him spill it on the floor, and then she was able to witness him ask the waitress for a paper towel and then clean up the mess himself. The problem-solving skills of her confident child were like that of a successful adult!

#5 Final Tip!

PsychologyToday.comThat’s because children are much less influenced by the words they hear than actions they see. Then, even more significant, they tend to mimic those actions they’ve witnessed. So, it’s crucial that you demonstrate your own problem-solving abilities, rather than avoiding conflicts and challenges out of a sense of anxiety.Simply pretending that your self image is positive isn’t the solution, either, because that teaches your child to pretend to be someone he or she is not. Instead, work on your own self esteem and be a good role model.You can read all the quoted articles for even more tips on how to encourage self esteem in your child.