Self-confidence and self-esteem are important factors for the healthy development of self-confidence and self-esteem in children. Self-confidence is the child's belief in himself and his ability to trust his abilities. Self-esteem is about the child's ability to accept, value and love himself. In this article, we will discuss pedagogical approaches to the development of self-confidence and self-esteem in children and scientific research on this subject.
Developing Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem in Children
- Positive Communication and Accepting Attitude: Communication and attitude between parents and educators are of great importance in order to develop a child's self-confidence and self-esteem. Positive communication and an accepting attitude allow the child to express himself and feel valued. Studies have shown that when parents and teachers show that they understand and empathize with their children, children's self-confidence increases and their self-esteem improves (Jones & Prinz, 2005).
- Recognizing Achievements: Appreciating children's achievements contributes positively to the development of self-confidence and self-esteem. Parents and teachers can increase their self-confidence by recognizing the child's efforts and giving them supportive feedback on their success. Studies have shown that appreciation for children when they are successful strengthens their self-belief and positively affects their self-esteem (Brummelman et al., 2014).
- Opportunities for Creativity and Self-Expression: Providing children with creative activities and opportunities to express themselves contributes to the development of self-confidence and self-esteem. Activities such as painting, dancing, and playing music allow children to discover themselves and showcase their talents. Research shows that creative activities increase children's self-confidence and strengthen their self-esteem (Lindgren et al., 2015).
- Responsibility and Independence: Giving children age-appropriate responsibilities helps build their self-confidence. Performing tasks on their own increases their sense of independence and self-confidence. Studies show that when children take responsibility, their self-confidence increases and their self-esteem is positively affected (Grolnick & Ryan, 1989).
- Handling Failures in a Positive Way: Children may encounter failures from time to time. Experiences of failure can damage their self-confidence and negatively impact their self-esteem. However, handling this situation in a positive way can help a child rebuild self-confidence and strengthen their self-esteem. Parents and teachers should support children to see their failures as a learning opportunity and provide them with encouraging feedback. Research shows that children who can cope with failures in a healthy way have higher self-confidence and stronger self-esteem (Dweck, 2006).
- Development of Social Skills: Social skills are important for children to interact with others and maintain healthy relationships. Developing social skills can increase a child's self-confidence and positively affect self-esteem. Skills such as good communication, empathy, problem solving and cooperation enrich the child's social experience. Studies show that strengthening social skills increases children's self-confidence and strengthens their self-esteem (Spence, 2003).
- Taking Risks and Reducing the Fear of Failure: It is important to take risks and reduce the fear of failure in order to improve children's self-confidence. Children should be encouraged to participate in new experiences, face challenges and make mistakes. This strengthens the child's self-confidence, reduces the fear of failure, and positively affects self-esteem. Studies reveal that risk-taking children have higher self-confidence and stronger self-esteem (Eisenberg et al., 2005).
Developing self-confidence and self-esteem in children is important for a healthy development. Pedagogical approaches such as positive communication, accepting attitude, appreciation of achievements, opportunities for creativity and self-expression, giving responsibility and independence can be effective in strengthening children's self-confidence and self-esteem. The pedagogical approaches mentioned in this article are supported by scientific research and can contribute to the healthy growth of children.
- Brummelman, E., Thomaes, S., Nelemans, SA, Orobio de Castro, B., Overbeek, G., & Bushman, BJ (2014). Origins of narcissism in children. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(12), 4860-4865.
- Grolnick, W. S., & Ryan, R. M. (1989). Parent styles associated with children's self-regulation and competence in school. Journal of Educational Psychology, 81(2), 143-154.
- Jones, T. L., & Prinz, R. J. (2005). Potential roles of parental self-efficacy in parent and child adjustment: A review. Clinical Psychology Review, 25(3), 341-363.
- Lindgren, R., Silverman, A., & O'Halloran, M. (2015). Creativity in early childhood classrooms: Fostering divergent thinking through creative experiences. Early Childhood Education Journal, 43(3), 155-163.