Raising a child with High Self Esteem
You can’t touch it, but it affects how you feel. You can’t see it, but it’s there when you look at yourself in the mirror. You can’t hear it, but it’s there every time you talk about yourself. It is reflected in your actions, decisions & beliefs. What is this important but mysterious thing?
It is your Self–Esteem!
Self–Esteem is the most powerful factor that sets the altitude of success and happiness in a person’s life. Children with healthy self-esteem feel good about themselves, relate well to others, behave more appropriately to situations and are more aware of the world around them. On the other hand are the children with low self-esteem. Some characteristics of Low Self Esteem among Children are:
- Social withdrawal
- Anxiety and emotional turmoil
- Lack of social-skills and self-confidence
- Often get bouts of sadness
- Less social compliance
- Eating Disorders
- Inability to accept compliments
- Exaggerated feeling of what other people will think about me
- Treats him/ herself badly but NOT other people and worrying whether s/he have treated others badly
- Reluctance to take on challenges
- Reluctance to put yourself first anywhere
- Reluctance to trust your own opinion
- Expecting little out of life for yourself
- Inability to empathize with others
How to Improve Self – Esteem among Children:
- Whenever you want to tell anything, keep it short & simple. Children tend to turn parent-deaf, if they are told things with long lectures.
- Learning new skills and gaining mastery over them– are great ways to improve self esteem in children. Give your children the opportunities to improve self esteem by experiencing pride in their own achievements and by gaining mastery of new skills.
- Children learn best when they know it for themselves by their own experience.Against popular belief, boosting self esteem by telling them “they are great kids” is no substitute for gaining this knowledge through their own personal experience. Confidence comes about through Experience – Experience comes about by doing it yourself. Don’t do it for them – step back and allow your children the opportunities to get the experience for themselves.
- Treat them the way you want to be treated,just because they are kids, it doesn’t mean that they are to be controlled, scolded or commanded over. Would you like that with you?
- Don’t solve all the problems for your child.Help him/ her learn problem–solving skills and learn to feel that s/he can manage many things for him/ her self. As parents, we want to protect our children from all the worldly pains and discomfort. However, no matter how hard we try, it is an impossible task. So, it’s better to stop worrying & let them face & overcome their life’s challenges.
“Give a man a fish & feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish & you have fed him for a lifetime!”
- Never call your child stupid, dumb, moron, etc. This can leave lifelong scars on their hearts and self-esteem.
- Give them your full attention: Turn off the TV, drop the newspaper, and stop whatever you’re doing to listen when your children talk to you.
- Allow your children to express themselves.Be patient when they’re talking and don’t keep saying “hurry up, and get to the point.”
- Believe in your children so they can believe in themselves. Show him/ her that you have faith in him/ her.
- Let them develop their skills and talents by supporting them in their interests. There’s nothing more important to them than seeing you having faith and believing that they can do it! Never criticize while supporting as if you are doing any obligation to them.
“It is much easier to build strong children than to repair broken men/ women.”
Messages that Damage Children’s Self–Esteem:>
- Threatening the childto leave them at home if they do not hurry up or when you are outside if you threaten to leave him/her there when child shows tantrums and doesn’t want to go back home. This develops insecurity in children.
- Frowning or sighingwhen they want to talk to you or ask you for something.
- Put down’ messages e.g. “You are good for nothing!” really damage self-esteem.
- Accentuating the negatives of the childespecially in front of others.
- Children who are abused(physical beating or sexual abuse) are more likely to suffer low self esteem as adults .They have learned that they are of little value in themselves or just an object to be used. There are other forms of abuse certainly being heavily criticized or unfavorably compared to others can lead to low self esteem (e.g. “Why can’t you be more like your elder brother!”).
- Harsh words spoken to a child can resonate throughout their life as can words of encouragement. Words have the ability to elevate someone to their highest potential or shred their well built self-esteem in seconds. “You are …” messages fall under this category. E.g. “You are lazy, untidy, naughty, a nuisance, coward, shy, etc.”
Come, let us raise children who feel strong about themselves & others…