Self esteem is built on many small successes and lots of praise and acknowledgement.
Children of colour need every tool possible to build their self-esteem. While society has made strides in overcoming certain biases and forms of discrimination, there remains many subtle and not-so-subtle colour or race-related messages that are discouraging and harmful to young egos.
Be alert to negative messages that are associated with any race or culture. Point them out as foolish and untrue. Emphasize that each person is unique and that we all bring our own individual strengths and weaknesses into the world.
It is important to frequently compliment your child on their strengths. Draw attention to their ability to solve math problems, play ball, dance, play a musical instrument, ride a bike, take photographs, perform gymnastics, or any other activity that increases confidence.
A strong ego will be better able to deal with both the good and the bad elements of society. As your child gets older, keep in touch with his or her needs: this might mean buying him or her a few of the ‘in’ clothes or enrolling him or her on the popular teams. Stay in tune with your child's natural skills and talents, and do whatever you can to help him or her develop them at each age.