•                                                                        What is self-esteem, and why is it important for our children?

    Self-esteem is how much a person values themselves, and their place in their world.  As parents, we can help our children develop high self-esteem.  A child with high self-esteem is more confident and capable at school.  They have a growth mindset, which is beneficial for school learning.  A child with a growth mindset will say they may not be able to do something yet, but they will soon!

    To help your child develop high self-esteem, you can help them face new challenges and succeed.  Their success earns praise from people they care about, which makes them more confident, and more likely to continue to succeed.  When kids have positive self-esteem they feel respected, are resilient and can bounce back from making a mistake, are proud of themselves, act independently, take responsibility for their actions, and have the courage to make good decisions, even when faced with peer pressure.

    Negative self-esteem, however, can take a toll on a child.  Kids with low self-esteem have trouble building and maintaining positive images of themselves.  Struggles in school are a large part of low self-esteem for many kids. However, giving a child false praise can cause them to be less trusting of adults and others around them.

    Therefore it is important to help kids build positive self-esteem in a realistic manner.  Praise your kids for doing well, but don't go overboard.  Most kids can figure out when they've done a good job, and when they haven't.  Make sure your kids know you're proud of their accomlishments, and their efforts.  Sometimes kids don't reach their goal, but they keep working on it.  Make sure your child knows you're proud of their continued effort.