Everything in life is better when your self-esteem is high and you feel good about yourself. The same is true for your child. It’s been said that you’re only as happy as your saddest child. So true!
When your child is happy with herself, good things seem even better. Bad things are easier to tolerate and manage. She can roll with the punches. A child with high self-esteem will do better in school, be more likely to avoid drugs and too-early sexual activity, and be happier in general. Low self-esteem is a burden no matter how old you are.
As a parent, you have a huge influence on your child’s self-esteem. Make good use of it!
Give your her a task, job or chore to do that you know will result in success. Success breeds confidence and additional success. Give your child regular chances to know success.
This can be a place to put trophies, report cards, favorite art work, ribbons, badges, and other awards. How could anyone not feel pride and confidence when a wall of fame is there for viewing each day? It can have a section for each part of life that is important to him. There could be a section for Kindness, where a picture of your child is displayed being helpful. There can be a section for Achievements where those badges, awards or trophies are show. A spot for Creativity would be great with colorful drawings, clay sculptures and beaded bracelets. I wonder what other ideas you’ll think up to celebrate your child’s efforts?
Some friends are more kind than others. Try to steer your child toward other children that are kind and supportive. Find a way to limit time spent with those children that are less supportive.
It’s easier to have self-esteem when you feel in control of your life. Everyone likes to be in control. The easiest way to avoid a battle is to give your child choices, but you create the choices. “Do you want a banana, apple, or orange in your lunch today?” is a better question than, “What do you want to eat?”
It’s a mistake to make a child feel less loved because of misbehavior or a mistake. Let your child know that you love them but you do not love certain kinds of behavior. They need your love but also need to know when their behavior disappoints. Keep the two separate.
Nothing sends the message, “You’re not important” as effectively as ignoring your child. Put your phone down and listen. Your child is interesting and the times when they are small pass by so fast.
It’s not something to get upset about or to avoid at all costs. It’s just a part of life that happens to everyone. There’s always the opportunity to try again. And every time you fail, you are that much closer to success.
Your child knows if his drawing of a horse actually looks like a pig. But you can find plenty of legitimate reasons to give your child compliments. Have some kind words for your child.
The goal might be for your child to tie her own shoes or to get an A in algebra. Teach your child to work toward their goal each day. That might mean taking a big goal and breaking it into smaller, more attainable steps. Teaching your child how to take a big job and break it into smaller chunks to achieve success, is a life skill that will help her all her life.
The more confident and comfortable you are in front of your child, the more secure he will feel. Your child is watching you for cues. If you’re obviously uncomfortable in certain situations, your child will be, too. Don’t allow your child to mimic your own fears. Set a good example.
Saying that it’s wrong to lie is a better option than calling your child a liar. Avoid putting negative labels on your child. Point out that certain behavior isn’t acceptable in your family and that family members should help each other to have good behavior.
Show your child that they are loved and appreciated every day. Do it in words and deeds and you will reap the reward of an adult child who is stable and happy in themselves.
It’s never too early to start boosting your child’s self-esteem. Providing a good foundation can prevent a lot of challenges in the teenage years. Act while your child is most impressionable. You can’t control every experience your child has, but you can control enough of them to make a huge difference.
A graduate of the Hypnosis Motivation Institute, Angie J. Hernandez, C.Ht., has her private practice in Milford, Indiana. She is certified in hypnotherapy by the Hypnotherapist's Union Local 472. Angie is the author of "Weight Loss Epiphany: The Workbook" and "The Pretty & Smart Planner. You can find out more about Angie and how to schedule private sessions by calling (574) 658-4686.
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