Self-esteem refers to how you feel about yourself. It includes such things as your self-confidence, self-respect, pride in yourself, your independence and your self-reliance.
All the ways you feel about yourself and your abilities are wrapped up in the term "self-esteem".
As a parent or a teacher, you have a great influence over the self-esteem of your child. For the first 4 or 5 years, parents are the most important contributor. When children start school, teachers and friends become important. Once they reach adolescents, peer groups begin playing a greater role in steering your child's self-esteem. The more positive their self-esteem was before adolescents, the easier it will be for them to resist negative peer group pressures.
In general, the more positive your self-esteem, the more successful you will be at dealing with life. The same holds for your children. The more positive their self-esteem, the more confident and proud they will be. They will try harder, be happier and have greater self-respect. They will make friends easier and will be more giving. Children with positive self-esteem are more secure and loving than children with negative self-esteem.
These are some ways to encourage self-confidence in children:
Children who are morally and spiritually conscience develop a sense of their own self-worth. Helping our children develop healthy self-esteem is one of the most important things that parents can do for them; it is the foundation of their faith and commitment to Allah. Children need to be assured that they are a special gift from Allah and they are to dedicate their talents and resources to Thy service--this gives them value, purpose and direction for life. Through every phase of a child's development, they need provisions for moral and spiritual enrichment that encourages them to truly reverence Allah and to thus value the beauty in themselves.
"We have indeed created man in the best of molds." (Quran 95:4) There is no fault in Allah's creation; to man, Allah gave the purest and best nature. Our duty is to preserve, and nurture the distinctive character that Allah has created.
Healthy feelings about oneself or high self-esteem is best started in the home, and this needs to be cultivated in our children from birth. Thankfulness for who Allah has made us to be is based primarily on how our parents or guardians view us. Children mirror others' perception of them; they measure themselves by the standards set by those shaping their lives. A child needs our unconditional love. While we may show disapproval of wrong actions, the child still needs to feel cherished. We are guided: "...truly no one despairs of Allah's soothing Mercy, except those who have no faith." (Quran 12:87) Our unconditional compassion for our children will promote and encourage their faith in Allah and instill the thinking that "I am lovable, I am confident."
Persons with healthy self-esteem are more capable of making decisions; they exhibit thankfulness for their accomplishments, are willing to take responsibility, and are better able to cope with stressful situations. They meet and feel enthusiastic about challenges. Often a student with a high IQ and low self-esteem will do poorly in school, while a child with average ability and high self-esteem will excel. The thinking that is cultivated in a person in the early years affects his entire life.