Since the 1960's people have been talking about self esteem and "finding themselves." They have bought books, gone to seminars and attended self-esteem boot camps. As a parent you want the best for your child. You want self-confident and assured children who are happy to be themselves and able take care of themselves.Fortunately you do not need boot camp to raise independent and confident children. You can work on helping your children to have self-esteem a little bit every day. A little effort applied consistently every day is the best approach. Give your children little things to do for themselves that they can accomplish. Praise their work effort, even if the results are not perfect.Let your children begin to do for themselves things you would normally do for them. You may think, "I can do it faster and get it done better." Remember you are raising children to be capable. This will not happen if they are not given practice. Practice means sometimes doing something slower or less ably at first.One of the things you can let your children do is to speak for themselves. They can tell the waitress their order in a restaurant. They can tell the doctor where it hurts. Sometimes this may take a little patience on the part of everyone, but let your child try first by themselves before you step in and translate for your child. Let your child make some decisions alone. Let them choose what to wear in the morning. At least you could give them a choice of the blue outfit or the green one. Over time you let them take on greater responsibility and harder choices. Occasionally they can make a decision for the entire family, such as what restaurant they will eat at. However, children need to understand that they are not always privileged to make decisions alone that affect the entire family.It is also important that children have chores of some type as they become more able. Taking care of themselves and their possessions and messes is the top priority. After that they should be expected to take on some daily or weekly household job without recompense just because they are a member of the household. Feeding the family pet, setting the table, and taking out the garbage are ideal jobs. On occasion children can earn money by doing harder or more infrequent chores. This will be the beginning of them understanding the correlation between work and making a living. By having a little money to spend that they worked for, they will also begin to appreciate the monetary value of things.In all these things give plenty of praise and lighten up a little on your expectations. Be very reticent with criticism. A wise person has said, "it is a mother's job to put herself out of business." As a father or a mother this means that you raise your child to be independent and take care of themselves. Only then will you feel your have done a good job as a parent. You may not leave your child a lot of money for an inheritance or some valuable heirloom, but you have bestowed to your child the greatest gift there is -- their independence and self-esteem.