How Do We Help the Little Ones to Develop Self-Esteem?
Self-Esteem at Children.
Being a parent means being an instructor and trainer of skills needed throughout social life. The basis of children's harmonious development is to teach them to value, respect, and treat each other with love.
Encouraging children to develop a sense of self-esteem is one of the most important tasks parents have. In this article, we present information that will help you help your children grow in confidence in themselves and their potential. Let's see how it's done…
Parents are a source of comfort and safety for children
Undoubtedly, parents are the most important people for their children. For the little ones, the process of self-knowledge is as complex as it is beautiful, in which the parents have the greatest influence.
They are the source from which children know the world and to which they turn when they feel lost. Some give them the mirror to begin to recognize themselves. Cultivating one's acceptance of the little ones is at the heart of this process.
They need to feel safe
Children often seek parental approval to feel loved and accepted. They need to know that you agree with them, that you allow them to feel confident in their strength. The problem arises when this need arises and is encouraged for too long.
When it becomes too intense and lasts too long, this habit can create a kind of dependence on the approval of others. It is important to teach your child to address this need so that he or she gradually becomes more autonomous and independent.
Thus, when parents accept their children as they are, cherish and appreciate them, it provides them with a psychological shield that will protect them throughout their lives. But unfortunately, things are not always rosy. Not all parents can meet the emotional needs of their children. However, the wonderful art of acceptance can always be learned, even in adulthood.
Don't educate your child, educate yourself
Children learn from their parents, and this aspect cannot be ignored. No matter what you tell your child how to behave, he will copy what you do anyway. Behaviors, words, or gestures, all will be taken over by the little one.
Thus, if the set of manifestations of adults has as common thread love, affection, and security, children will internalize that they are valued, loved, and respected, that it matters. These will be the first lessons about self-worth and self-esteem.
An important note: acceptance does not imply resignation. The establishment of limits in the education of the little ones is not annulled by anyone. These are necessary. The important thing is not to stop sending the message that they are accepted as they are, recognizing both their values and their difficulties.
On the other hand, if children are treated with contempt, aggression, or indifference, they will fuel despair, rejection, or a sense of abandonment within them. In this way, they will learn that they are not loved and, as a result, their self-esteem will be damaged.
What to do?
- Recognize your child's potential instead of constantly pointing out mistakes. This does not mean that you have to ignore the mistakes that the little one makes. On the contrary, it addresses every mistake in terms of the opportunity to move forward.
- Listen to him and be interested in what he wants to share with you.
- Ask questions and encourage him to participate in discussions.
- Recognize them and validate their emotions. If you label your child's feelings as "bad" or encourage him to repress and deny them, you will get nothing but low self-esteem. As a result, the child may behave dishonestly and lose connection with his or her feelings. So, do not hesitate to draw attention to the full range of emotions that the child experiences.
- Avoid telling your child how he or she should feel and don't compare him or her to peers. Sarcasm, threats, and punishments related to his feelings will only cause denial, avoidance, and hiding the way he feels, which will cause difficulties in managing emotions.
How to help the child express his discomfort
Encouraging the child's healthy self-esteem also means teaching him to express his discomfort and negative emotions in an appropriate way. In this context, the diversity of how it can cope is also learned. In the emotional universe, all the details matter. We cannot talk about self-esteem in the context of avoiding feelings of resentment or malaise. Specialists in child psychology offer a series of tips that will encourage the expression of emotions in children:
- Ensure a safe and acceptable climate that encourages the child to express how he feels.
- Help him express his discomfort. Activities such as writing, drawing, storytelling can help the child to communicate what he feels.
- Tell them about situations where you felt the same way. This will make the child feel understood.
- Help him feel good in situations of disappointment or defeat.
Positive language - the ace up your sleeve
One of the most powerful things you can do to strengthen your child's self-esteem is language. The way you approach it determines the connection you will build. That's why it's important to pay attention to the words and tone of voice when addressing yourself.
Positive language involves describing the child's behavior, but without judging. It is essential to detach the value of the child from his behavior at a certain time. The reaction to what the child did (what you feel and what you think about what happened) must also be present.
And last but not least, the headline made you read this article. Using positive and honest language is fundamental.
So we see that being a parent is not easy at all. And this is not only due to the physical and economic effort we put into it. The real value is the emotional effort we make every day to raise and educate happy and fulfilled children. An effort that brings even the greatest satisfaction.