Building self esteem in children is essential for their development into happy healthy successful teens and adults.
Do you have a great story or comment about this? Share it!
1). Understand and meet the dependency needs of our children’s critical developmental stages.
Children have dependency needs that they cannot meet on their own and need their parents or primary caregivers to help them get these needs met. This action is one of the most important things we can do in building self esteem in children.
See dependency needs.
2). Become better parents by learning new skills.
To become better parents we must learn new skills. We must use these skills to have better relationships with our kids and to feel better about ourselves as parents.
Passive listening is about completely accepting the other person by listening to them in a non-judgmental, passive way. This allows the child to express all that he or she has to express without fear or concern about being made wrong, being controlled or being dominated by his or her parents.
See passive listening.
Active listening is quite a bit different than passive listening. Active listening is when we mirror our child’s statements with feeling. See active listening.
Speaking using "I" messages.
For whatever reason when we speak we use the word “you” a lot. Speaking in the “I” is about switching from you to I. See speaking using “I” messages.
3). Set healthy limits.
To set healthy limits as parents we need to be able to set healthy limits for ourselves. If we don’t have this ability, how can we give our kids, what we ourselves do not have?
4). Foster mutual love and respect between parent and child.
The more we love and respect ourselves, the more we can love and respect our children. If we do not love and respect ourselves, how can we really love and respect our kids?
5). Honor their uniqueness. A critical step in building self esteem in children.
Though our children come through us they do not belong to us. We don’t own them. It’s not our job to live our unlived lives through our kids. Our kids ultimately belong to themselves. Our job is to learn to like, approve of and respect ourselves. Our job is to follow our own bliss and to learn the lessons we need to learn. When we do all of this, our kids will truly understand what life is really about. They will get this via osmosis, from just being around us. We honor their uniqueness by honoring our own uniqueness.
6). Give them opportunities to learn and grow.
If we shelter our kids too much, we stifle their growth. If we give them opportunities to learn and grow then they can blossom. They may fall down at first, make mistakes, etc. However, falling down, and making mistakes are all part of the learning process.
7). Learn creative solutions through win win scenarios.
Win win scenarios are when I win, you win too and when you win, I win as well. It has nothing to do with making compromises or experiencing win lose. A compromise is made after negotiating, when one person has less than when they first started out. A win lose scenario is when 1 person wins and the other loses.
Win win scenarios are when both parties win and get what they each want.
When my son Jason was around 4 yrs old we went to visit his Grandparents. When we got there, I started to pack things in from my truck to their house. Jas said, “ Daddy I want to hold your hand” I said “I’m sorry son, I need to carry this stuff into the house. Then I said “How can we make this work?” Jas said “ I know, I can hold your other hand”. Brilliant idea. So, I carried a few bags in with my right hand, with Jason holding my left hand. A win win scenario.
8). Deepen understanding, patience and empathy.
How do we deepen our understanding, patience and empathy? Learn to laugh at ourselves. Stop taking ourselves so seriously, and remember we were all kids too at one time in our lives. Parenting is the hardest job in the world. It’s time for us to lighten up and enjoy the ride. Parenting can be a chore or a joy. It’s up to us.
Building self esteem in children is so important for their growth and development. I cannot think of anything as important as nurturing our future generation.