This week, Parent Ping have been working in collaboration with Tooled Up Education not only to ask questions… but to answer them! On Tuesday evening 150 parents joined us for a webinar about building positive self-esteem in children.
During the webinar, Parent Ping data about self-esteem was used by Dr Kathy Weston to focus the conversation on what parents most wanted to know. Kathy is one of the UK’s leading experts on the importance of parental engagement in children’s lives for parents and families. This blog captures some of the highlights!
What is self-esteem, and is it an issue?
Kathy began by explaining that self-esteem represents a feeling of being ‘good enough’ and having a ‘positive sense of one’s value as a person’ (Proctor et al, 2009).
Parent Ping data shows two-thirds of parents worry about their children’s self-esteem. This worry grows as the child does, peaking in parents of children aged around 14-16. Parents also report that children increasingly self-criticise or use negative language to describe themselves and that they express worry or concern about their body shape or weight as they reach these mid-teen years.
Why is this important & what can we do for our kids?
Kathy tells parents that “self-esteem is the engine room of resilience.” Children with high self-esteem enjoy better social and emotional outcomes, are less likely to have mental health problems and are more likely to be more digitally resilient.
“Parents are the architects of helping children feel good” Kathy explains. Whilst she emphasises that one single approach won’t fit all families or all children, these are some of her suggestions for parents to support their children’s self-esteem:
🔹Expose your children to positive feedback – keep a record of your children’s achievements (big and small) to help them recognise good things about themselves
🔹Use your family history (stories and pictures) to build up a narrative about where your child comes from and who they are
🔹Model the behaviour and attitude to life that you want to see in your children; try having a family moto or mantra
🔹Invest in closeness (but note that this can look & feel different with each child and at each stage of their life)
🔹‘Check-in’ regularly (but don’t bombard!)
🔹Be a family that tries new things together
🔹When things get tough, try to ‘coach’ rather than just sooth troubles away.
And if she had just one tip for parents?!? Be brave! For more information about Kathy’s work visit: https://www.tooledupeducation.com/. To get share your views on Parent Ping, download the app to get pinging!