Kids are delicate, especially when it comes to positive self-image and high self-confidence. Everywhere you look the media is encouraging people to think less of themselves, and kids are no exception to this. They learn from a young age that they aren’t good enough as they are, and that until they change every facet of their life they never will live up to their full potential. And in addition to being faced with negative messages from the media, they now also have to deal with negative messages from cyberbullying. Instead of reinforcing negative thoughts about themselves, as parents and caregivers we need to teach our kids how to have high self-esteem.
We can do so by doing the following:
Celebrate individual children’s strengths: Recognize your child’s unique abilities and celebrate the things that she does well instead of focusing on things she could do better. Remind her that every person has their own individual strengths, and that it is these unique qualities that make everyone so different and beautiful.
Encourage trying new things: Always encourage your child to step outside of his comfort zone, but don’t berate him if he doesn’t right away. Maintain a positive attitude about trying new things and even stay positive about failure. Point out what he learned through his failure that will help him conquer something the next time around.
Never compare one child to another: Parents often compare children to one another, many times without even realizing it. Resist the urge to point out that one child does one thing and that your child should as well and instead focus on what your child does well on her own. Comparing one child to another child plants the seed of comparison into your child’s head, and before you know it she will be telling herself that she isn’t good enough because she isn’t following the same path or doing certain tasks as well as someone else.
Lead by example: Your child will learn the most by watching your behaviors. Don’t put yourself down in front of your child, and instead focus on the positive. Show that it’s ok to branch out and try new things by constantly challenging yourself. Your child will be watching you every step of the way, and if they see you acting with self-confidence and self-assuredness they are likely to assume the same characteristics.
Give your child the opportunity to make decisions and take responsibility: When children are able to feel as though they are trusted to make a decision it will help instill a feeling of self-confidence. Each decision that they make will help them feel more confident the next time around, and branching out and deciding to try new things will become easier.
Having a high self-esteem is integral in kids being strong enough to resist bullying and to stand up for others who are being bullied, two problems that are running rampant right now. Help your child to value their own self-worth, and encourage them to help their peers do the same. Being proactive about how our children view themselves is imperative to counteract bullying and poor self-image.
Monta the mother of three children serves as an Expert Advisor on multiple household help issues to many Organizations and groups, and is a mentor for other “Mom-preneurs” seeking guidance. She is a regular contributor of “find nannies”. You can get in touch with her at montafleming6Atgmail dotcom.
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