Instilling Self Esteem in Children
Kids look to their parents to see who they are as new little people in this world. Their parent’s feelings, actions, and word greatly help to shape the way that that child views themselves. Ask yourself – What am I teaching my child?
Do your words build them up or tear them down?
Are they encouraging?
Are they loving?
Are they supportive?
Do you discipline when needed with a fair hand?
There are no black and white/right or wrong hard lines on parenting. No two parents are the same. There are some guidelines though that should be followed if you wish to raise a self-thinker with good self-esteem.
- Don’t coddle – By doing everything for them they cannot learn to be self-sufficient. It may be tempting to help them do things like solve puzzles or homework by doing it for them, but by doing that it teaches dependence on you and instills a feeling of “maybe I am not smart enough.”
- Don’t talk down to your kids – regardless of age, kids are far from stupid. Being condescended to feels bad and degrading as an adult and it is no different for a child. Speak to them at their level but like an equal.
- Let them answer for themselves – If someone asks “Oh, how old is Billy?” Even if they directed that question to you, turn it over to them. Look at your child and ask “She is asking you a question. How old are you?” – Unless they are very young, they know how old they are. They are proud to answer questions and know answers. Allow them to show off what they have learned.
- Teach them to stand up for themselves – Bullying has become an enormous problem in recent years, but what we need to accept is that it isn’t just the bullies who are at fault. While of course, you do not ever want to teach children that fighting is the answer to problems, teaching them that no one has the right to treat them badly and that it is perfectly ok to stand up and defend yourself is key. It instills a core belief of “I am worthy.”
- Teach them empathy and kindness towards others – being able to put yourself in another person’s shoes and show compassion is vital to being a good person who feels on a core level good about themselves. The best way to teach this, and possibly the only way to teach this, is to lead by example.
The child based programs at Monarch Wellness help boost self-esteem and teach kids interpersonal skills. To learn more please visit www.monarchwellness.net