One of the most important things parents need to take care of with their children - and not only in times of pandemic - is to help them build and strengthen their self-confidence and self-esteem. According to Anita Cleare, a parenting expert and author of "The Working Parent's Survival Guide," a good way is to give kids opportunities to feel a "sense of triumph and achievement," in other words "moments to shine."
"Moments to shine'' don't have to be excellence at hobbies or in academic subjects. "It's not about that, it's about them rising to a challenge and that could be a tiny challenge," said Cleare. With young kids, for example, this might be reaching the top of a ladder on the playground, or accomplishing a specific task at home. Developing self-esteem is important because it "underpins good mental and emotional health going forward," enabling children to better "bounce back from adversity."
A study published in 2015 by the University of Washington revealed that a child's sense of self-confidence is already developed at the age of 5. Cleare explains that self-esteem is built on three key factors, the first one being feeling capable or good at something; the second one the feeling that you have an influence on the people around you, or even on yourself when you progress at a skill; and the third one the feeling that you're accepted and valued.
"Moments to shine" bring together all these three components. They make children feel capable and competent and understand all the impact they can have on their environment.
Picture: Mary Agnes, by Robert Henri (Wikimedia Commons, w/Effects)