I grew up with very low self esteem. I always thought that I was ugly and awkward. I was very shy and had problems making friends. I have a toddler now and want her to have a different experience. I don’t know what to do to help her. Please give me some suggestions.
You would think that giving a child lots of praise would give them good self esteem but a feeling of competence where she can feel good about her own performance is probably a better way to build your daughter’s self esteem. You can help her discover things that she can do well and get this good feeling on her own. She also needs to know that you think she is doing a good job so be sure you let her know when she has done well and be positive in your interactions with her. A smile or a hug is a way to let her know she has done well.
Try to encourage your daughter in different activities and let her focus on things she enjoys doing. She may be shy like her mother as sometimes these tendencies tend to be inherited. You can help her along by inviting one child at a time to your home and letting her have some one on one experiences while she is young. She will be more apt to join in group play if she already has at least one friend.