Parenting can be tough, very tough. Nevertheless, it is so full of rewards that it is well worth it. Children will push you and test you. They will misbehave and break the rules. They test us as parents and steal our hearts. As parents, it is our responsibility to help build our childrens self-esteem. We encourage their success and help them gain confidence to help them lead successful, productive lives. Basically, all parents express a desire to instill good, positive self-esteem in their children, but many lack the parenting skills necessary to achieve that goal. Many parents simply do not know how to go about helping their child or children build self-confidence.

When a parent steps into the role of confidence builder for their children, they often have difficulty in creating an environment that is conducive to such endeavors. It is so difficult for some parents to let go of their children that stifle their children, hold them back and, in some cases, even damage their childrens self-esteem. This is usually not intentional, but the effects can last through the childs life. If a child lacks self-confidence and the parent or parents do things that instill that further, even inadvertently, the damage can last well into adulthood. Low self-esteem can affect performance in school, relationships with friends and later, problems in the workplace or in seeking a job.

So what can parents do to instill self-esteem in their child? There are no easy answers, but the first step a parent can do to build self-esteem in their child is to let go. This does not mean abandon the child, is simply means allow the child to make some of his or her own decisions. A primary reason that many parents are apprehensive in giving their children any freedom or control over their lives is that the parent actually lacks self-esteem. Low self-esteem is not hereditary genetically, but it is passed on from parent to child. Children learn what they live and parents who project negative self-images teach their children to do the same thing. Even if the parents try to promote high self-esteem in their child, it may not be enough. A large part of parenting is teaching by example. Sure, you have your lessons and rules, but it is what you dont say to your kids that speaks volumes.

Give your children room – and permission – to fail. Failure is a fact of life. But a child is never allowed to fail if he or she is never allowed to strike out on his or her own. A parent can begin encourage sound decision making in children when they are infants, before they can even talk. When you are purchasing an outfit for your baby, make two selections. Hold up both outfits and ask, “Do you like the blue one better, or the yellow one?” Whichever outfit the baby looks at the most or the longest, choose it, put the other away and say, “Oh! You like the blue one? Me too!” Put it in your basket and purchase it. When you give children the freedom to make their own decisions and they know that you trust them, they are not likely to stray.

It is a matter of independence. Be a parent, but allow your child to make certain decisions alone. You can set reasonable boundaries, but give in a little and compromise. Encourage your child to make choices and walk him or her through the consequences of the choice. When a child misbehaves it is important that he or she realize and acknowledge that not only did they make the choice to commit the offense, they also made the choice to accept the consequences associated with the offense.

Parenting is exhausting and exasperating but it is the most rewarding job you will ever have.