What would you be doing right now if you truly believed in yourself? The quality and destiny of our life is greatly determined by our level of self-esteem. If we have a high level of self-esteem, we are more likely to use and develop our many talents. In the same token, if we have low self-esteem, our talents often go undeveloped and we may underachieve.
As parents, we want our children to feel good about themselves and feel fulfilled as adults. Here are five things that we can do now that can assure high self-esteem for our children.
Celebrate, honor and nurture your child’s uniqueness. Sometimes this can be difficult especially when our child displays qualities that we are not fond of. We tend to encourage the things we agree with and discourage the things we don’t like. Since most children want to please us, we must be careful that we do not discourage the true spirit of the child. There are many people who are not happy in their work today because they are doing what they think their parents want them to do rather than what would make them truly happy.
Use parenting methods that encourage personal responsibility. Offering children choices and opportunities to make decisions, express their opinions and develop leadership, shows children how to think not what to think. Autocratic parenting tends to stifle the spirit of the child. Methods such as motivating through guilt or controlling through threats and punishment can act as roadblocks to close relationships and a healthy self-concept.
Model and teach your children the value of contributing. Being helpful is often the thing that makes us feel truly valuable. The more your child finds their value by being helpful, the more support your child will receive from society.
Instruct your child to be proactive. It can be extremely discouraging to feel powerless. One of the best ways to empower your child is to explore together many solutions to a problem, go through possible consequences of each solution, and choose a solution that serves the interest of everyone involved. Children who have this tutelage gain a lot of confidence in solving problems those who get stuck in a pattern of being a victim tend to carry on this pattern as an adult.
Impart to your child the importance of valuing what he thinks and feels about himself over what others think of him. When children start to think that another’s opinion is more valuable than theirs, they lose their sense of self. A great toll is taken when children give up who they are in order to be liked by others.
Your child’s self-esteem is critical to his future success. The investment of time in building your child self-esteem now will benefit not only your child but also your community!