Never underestimate the importance of making sure your child has high self-esteem and confidence in his abilities.
One of the most important personality traits you can instill in your child, is that of self confidence.
No person or child is perfect. Some parents are surprisingly quick to notice their child's physical flaws, especially with regards to their daughters. I recently met a mother who, despite having a pretty little girl, would constantly press the child's nose from the sides in an effort to narrow it down. "Her nose is too wide," she would say. Hopefully the child was still too young to notice what her mother was up to or to start wondering if her nose was really all that bad.
Although you as a mother will certainly have your child's best intentions at heart, you must understand that by calling your child's attention to her flaws - especially to physical flaws your child can do nothing about - is very detrimental to her self esteem.
Jack Welch, former CEO of GE says that the best thing his mother did for him was to give him a lot of self-confidence. When he looks at school photographs, he is always surprised to see that he was one of the shortest boys in his class. He had never even noticed it at the time, since he was so comfortable with himself.
If your child has excessive body hair, don't comment on it. Children are constantly in the company of other children, and if her friends haven't commented on her excessive body hair, don't bring it up. The minute your child brings it up, you can then start thinking of solutions to her problem.
Then there are those mothers who believe that this is the age for their child to be focusing on studies, and things like excessive body hair should be the last concern on their mind. So even if the child comes up to her mother and says that she wants to get rid of the hair on her upper lip because other students make fun of her, her mother's response will be to tell her to ignore them and not to worry about such things at this age. Try and find a middle ground and be there for her.
Make sure that even if your child has a few physical flaws, you are not the one to call attention to them. If your child is overweight, instead of constantly bringing the fact to her attention, serve low-calorie meals at the outset. Don't serve friend pakoras every evening and tell your child to eat less because he is overweight.
Every child makes mistakes. Instead of yelling at your child when he makes a mistake, ask him what he learnt from it. Ask him what he thinks he should do to prevent the mistake from happening again. Also, let him realize the damage that he has caused due to the mistake so he feels bad on his own and tries not to repeat the mistake.
Focus on your child's positive aspects at every time. Never tire of telling your child how if she works at it, she can achieve anything she sets her mind to. Don't limit your child's dreams. Encourage her to dream big, but also make her understand that the larger her dreams, the harder she will have to work and study to fulfill them. Also, teach your child to be realistic. Instead of filling your child's head with stories of people who made it big through sheer luck, instill the value of education in your child, especially if your child is good at studies. If your child is a very poor student, help her nurture other talents.