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Child Development & Parenting: Middle (8-11)
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Nurturing Children's Self-Esteem Conclusion

Angela Oswalt Morelli , MSW, edited by Mark Dombeck, Ph.D.

This article has explored the importance of self-esteem for children's healthy development, and ways that parents can help to nurture, support and build children's healthy self-esteem. Parents learned that there are many opportunities for them to positively influence children's self-esteem, including specific methods of positive communication and discipline, provision of love and attention, encouraging children to take on appropriate challenges, support for developing individuality and for children's need to socialize and become identified with groups and activities, all of which enhance children's confidence and sense of worth. Parents also learned they have many opportunities to help children select meaningful and enriching activities while helping them to manage their time well. Two such enriching activities explored in some detail were community volunteer service activities and summer camp experiences.

Middle childhood is an amazing time of learning, creativity, and exploration of the larger world and all it has to offer. Parents and other caregivers have wonderful opportunities to walk alongside their children, delight in their joy and excitement, and share their pain and frustration during life's difficult times. Even though children may not directly say so, children find true comfort, solace, and empowerment in their parents' ongoing nurturing and constructive support. This is one of the most rewarding parts of parenting.