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Hi, I am just curious on how parent can raise or lower a child self-esteem. I have a good sense of it but couldn't really put them down in writing. I know that Parents who keep their children from going outside and don't incourage their children to accomplish thing by themselves, can lower their children self-image, making them shy and less confident. Parents, who done otherwise, helped raised their children confident and self-image.

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I have a pair of very overprotective and conservative parents who still live in a fantasyland of their own, where the nice shy guy gets the girl, and sticking to 'morals' leads to a happy life ever after. I am now past the age at which I can continue blaming my parents but I do think that if they had brought me up differently; if my teenager-hood had been different; then I might be a more confident, manly guy today.

I would like to add that even with the best set of parents, if the outside world is unusually harsh on the child (too short, too fat or whatever), then it is a losing battle for the kid's self esteem. My low point was in 7th grade when a guy punched me in the southern region in front of a girl I had a crush on.

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Raise self-esteem:

- praise for things done right (too many silly praises for dumb things feel false or condescending, so use appropriately!)

- encourage the child to try new things

- tell the child that you trust them

- give the child a role: being allowed to participate in decisions, help out in the house, help cook, etc

- let the child explore their independance


Lower self-esteem:

- Criticize the child often

- Blame the child for things

- abuse the child in any way (verbal, emotional, physical)

- over-protect the child so it grows up thinking the world is a dangerous place that cannot be trusted or handled

- do too much for the child so they think they cannot handle things themselves

- give the child no freedom or independance

- don't trust the child

- give the child no duties, or contribution to the house

- have different rules for the child "Do as I say, not what I do", "DONT YOU YELL AT ME!" (while yelling yourself "Finish your dinner. I don't care if I didn't finish mine. Do as I tell you!"

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