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Help Your Child Grow Self-Esteem.

Help children develop self-esteem by listening,accepting, and praising. Self-esteem comes from acceptance. Provide positive self-esteemfor your kids. Help your children grow self-esteem.

Help Your Child Grow Self-Esteem.

Helping your child grow up with strong self-esteem is the most important taskof parenthood. As a parent, you are the primary influence on how your child feels aboutherself–her self-esteem. You are a mirror of who she is. And you want your child to feelvaluable, to have strong self-esteem.

Kids with high self-esteem have an easier time in life.

Providing a positive reflection doesn’t mean you allow your child to run thefamily or approve of everything he/she does. It does mean that you that build positiveself-esteem.

Listening to your child builds self-esteem.

Choose a time when you can give your child your full attention with a minimumof distractions. Invite your child to talk by asking some open-ended questions that can’tbe answered by "yes" or "no." Then follow his lead. When you can nottake the time to listen to your child, she feels unimportant, boring, not good enough. Lowself-esteem follows.

Active listening builds self-esteem.

Look at your child, ask questions, and paraphrase statements. Remember to lookwith your eyes. (See Talk.)Pay attention to feelings, posture, and your tone of voice.

If necessary, help a young child find words to describe his/her feelings.

Don’t distract yourself with details. Just listen for the point of the storyand give feedback to the point.

Don’t try to fix things. Children usually want to share an experience, not heara solution. Learning to solve their own problems builds self-esteem, too.

Accepting your child builds self-esteem.

When you accept all of your child, the good and the bad, your child can accepthim/herself. This is the foundation of self-esteem. Train yourself to:

  • Recognize his/her unique abilities and talents.
  • Reinforce, nurture, and help the child see these talents.
  • See negative behavior in the context of who your child is.

Focus only on changing behavior that is important to change, i.e. behavior thatisolates or harms him/her or disrupts the family. You don’t need and should not want tochange everything about your child to fit your "specs." Again, your job is tomake your child feel valuable and build self-esteem.

Use the language of self-esteem.

Describe the behavior without judging the child so that you distinguish betweenthe child’s worth and his/her behavior. Describing behavior gives him/her accuratefeedback about actions and how actions affect the child and others. By not labeling achild as good or bad, you separate appraisals of behavior from basic value or worth.

Share the reasons behind your reactions. It is easier for children to meetexpectations and/or avoid conflict when they understand why you react they way youdo.Validate your child’s experience so that he/she feels seen and understood as a worthyperson even when behavior is being corrected.

Praise without overpraising to build self-esteem.

Praise is what gives children the message that they are accepted andappreciated. They learn to praise themselves and recognize and value their own efforts andtalents. On the other hand, overpraise creates pressure to be the "smartest, best,most wonderful kid ever," a set-up for eventual failure.

Avoid backhanded praise. This mixes praise and insult.

Say, "I’m glad you got it done," instead of, "It’sabout time."

Try, "You look good in blue," instead of, "I’m gladyou are wearing something besides all that black you and your friends like."

Discipline and set limits to build self-esteem.

Children who are not disciplined can not grow up with high self-esteem. Theytend to feel more dependent and also feel that they have less control over their world.

Children will run into disapproval and cruelties in the world. They need thephysical and emotional protection of rules and limits to grow self-esteem.

When you give your child acceptance and he/she can see you really see, value,and appreciate him/her, you have provided armor against drugs, unhealthy relationships,and delinquency.

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