It's Up To You as a Parent to Help Your Child To Build a Healthy Self-Esteem.
Children are our Future
How we can play an important part in the future of our world is to be aware and take the necessary steps to help our children to develop a healthy self-esteem.
We take courses in reading, writing, driving a car, how to fix a broken appliance and any number of things to make our life interesting and easier. Some of the training that we do is mandatory based on rules put out by our government. Children must go to school for twelve years of their life. No where is there education on being a parent as well as a human being.
World Peace would be the ultimate result ( idealistic, yes)
Being a human being includes communicating with others and working together to find and implement ways of making our lives work for all. Relationships are not always easy. People differ from one another in their opinions and desires. It is what makes us so special and unique. We are all different.
Basically we all want the same things. We want to love and be loved and we want to be happy.
So, knowing that society hasn't implemented (yet) any programs to help us to be better communicators, better parents and more productive citizens, we must be aware in our lives and pay close attention to our childrens self-esteem, and how they are evolving in the scheme of things.
TIPS ON HELPING YOUR CHILDREN DEVELOP THEIR SELF-ESTEEM
* Be aware that the most important thing you can do for your child is to treat them always with respect and understanding. They are learning all the time. We can give them boundaries ( which they need) without taking away their self-respect.
* Listen to them when they have something to say.
* Encourage them when they are learning something new or have done a project.
* Include them in family decisions that effect them. They are equal to us in rights. They are just small people.
* Teach them how to tell the truth about what is going on for them. Teach the family how to communicate so that everyone gets a chance to express themselves.
* When they have done something against the house rules, let them know it and try to find the natural or logical consequence of it. There is always a consequence of an action, and it usually works well as the punishment.
* Always let them know you love them no matter what. Their actions are separate from who they are.( a wrong action does not make a bad person )
* Allow them to express themselves and explore the things that they are interested in. A child genius must not go unnoticed.
* Try not to let the stress of life impact them. As an adult, you have a responsibility to make sure that your family is provided for. In all of that, let's not forget the children's emotional needs.
What is a Belief System And Why Is It so Powerful in Creating Behavior Patterns?
Last weekend I saw a family in turmoil. The boys are 3 and 5 years old. The parents are loving and caring. Their life is chaos! And the childrens self-esteem is at stake.
The children cannot be in the same room with each other without someone getting hurt or something getting broken. The parents are reactive and loud. The children cry often and are sent away to their rooms regularly. The boys don’t want to fight. They don’t want to break things and they don’t want to be sent away. They want to be validated, supported and embraced. What is wrong? What belief systems have caused this pattern of behavior?
Parenthood is challenging. Anyone can be a parent. It doesn’t take a university education, diploma or a permit. We all know what it takes. And sometimes, it happens in the blink of an eye. What next?
This beautiful child enters the world in love with, and open to everything. He has a clean mind and an open heart. He is like a sponge. How we, as caregivers, behave towards that child, and towards each other, forms the basis of his belief systems and hence his self-esteem. It is not what we say but what we do that forms these beliefs. You have heard the saying “ actions speak louder than words”. It is so true.
Now back to the loving parents who are beside themselves with the chaos in their relationship with their children. When two people come together to form a family, they each have been brought up differently to some extent. We do, however, have a tendency to attract people into our lives who display similar behavior patterns to what we are used to. I believe that these parents were brought up in an environment where control was a large factor. In fact, in general, parents feel that control is an important factor in child rearing. When children behave badly, it is a reflection on the parent.
The need for control for these parents has caused power struggles that dominate their lives. These behavior patterns have been passed on from previous generations and will be perpetuated if unchecked. Parents level of self-esteem is reflected in childrens self-esteem.
Here are a few steps to help you to eliminate the stress around your family and some techniques to bring serenity and peace in your home. I suggest that you first look at your beliefs around being a parent and find out what is not working. Remember that your childrens self-esteem is the most important thing that you can help to develop. And your behavior is at the core of it.
1. Children are not adults. Parents want their children to think and behave like adults, which they cannot do.
2. Children need to be involved in creating harmony in their lives. They need to be part of a plan that everyone works together on.
3. Let go of the need to control them. Controlling another person never works for the good of anyone. Even though children are young and inexperienced, they are still equal human beings. Their self-esteem suffers, if they have no choice.
4. Sometimes when children are too young to understand, distracting them is more useful than emphasizing their behavior.
5. Stop the knee-jerk reactions. Count 5 seconds before responding to an unfortunate event with your children. Then you are in a position to figure out what happened and what works best.
6. Try to avoid rewarding good behavior. It assumes that they are inherently bad. Encourage and approve of their accomplishments.
7. When they fight, tell them you love them and it hurts you to see them treating one another badly.
8. As parents, you need to both be on the same page. You need to be consistent with how you deal with your children.
9. Read the book “ Children the Challenge” by Rudolf Dreikurs. It is the best book I have ever read about bringing up children. It is based on natural and logical consequences. It is intelligent. I love it!
to order this great book return from Childrens Self-Esteem to Family Behavior Patterns
Who You Are Makes A Difference. For a short but powerful video follow this link. THIS IS A GIFT FOR YOU. DON'T MISS IT.
One Year Later
The family I wrote about who were in chaos are still challenged. Nothing has changed for them in how the parents are behaving toward their two sons. They still both shout at the boys and the mother favors the young boy. The six year old has begun to stutter and is filled with anger (just like his father). The four year old is continually harassing his older brother who reacts and an altercation results. Without investigation, the parents yell at the six year old and send him to his room. He looks afraid when he is blamed but cannot stop himself from reacting to his little brother. It is a vicious circle and there seems no end in site.
I know that the parents are aware to some extent that what is happening does not work. How can they not know? They have acquired resource materials from well-meaning family, but the books and websites go unopened. They are not prepared to face their own responsibility for how their life is going and are overwhelmed but defensive.
This is a time when the well-meaning family and friends will have to let go of having any influence over the outcome of events for this family. Unfortunately (or not), this situation will have to get worse before someone is ready to make changes to improve their life/lives. It is the way it is and to get to the point where denial has ceased, it must hurt first.
Human beings are afraid of admitting to themselves, and then to others that there are things that are going wrong. If we could only be secure in ourselves so that we could accept and admit that we don’t always get the results we want.
Our view of the world and it's Divine Being
One of my favorite writers M. Scott Peck, MD writes in his book The Road Less Traveled "The most basic culture in which we develop is the culture of our family, and our parents are it's "culture leaders". Moreover, the most significant aspect of that culture is not what our parents tell us about God and the nature of things but rather what they do--how they behave toward each other, toward our siblings, and above all toward us. In other words, what we learn about the nature of the world when we are growing up is determined by the actual nature of our experience in the microcosm of the family."
So, within the microcosm of the family unit, our parents create our unique view of the world by their behavior. Childrens self-esteem is formed within this microcosm.
Knowing that, it is easy to understand why the beliefs and opinions of our family are so strong and prevalent in our ways of living in the world.
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When your children know that they are valued and loved, you have done your job as a parent.
Love Yourself…Love Your Children
Children are born with a clean slate. They know nothing about the world around them. They are the centre of the Universe. We, their caregivers are the ones who teach them about life. For the first six years of their life, they learn everything from their primary caregivers.
So here is the scoop. It is not what we say and what we do but how we are that teaches our children. How we are speaks volumes.
Is it possible to love your children without loving yourself? Or can you love yourself without loving your children. I don’t think so. If we are ignoring our own needs to take care of our children, ultimately, we are not being loving to them. If we don’t respect and honour ourselves , we cannot respect and honour anyone else. It’s that simple. What we don’t have we can’t give and what we don’t know, we cannot teach.
On the other hand, if we just attend to our own needs and ignore our children’s feelings and needs, we are still not being loving to ourselves or to our children. Being selfish is not a loving act to ourselves or to anyone else. There is no sense of worth derived from being self-centered.
As a role model, it is important to be responsible for our own well-being. If we only take care of the needs of our children, they will not learn to take responsibility for their own feelings and needs and will look to others or they will take care of others while ignoring themselves.
If we are judgmental toward ourselves, even if we support our children, they will be judgmental to themselves. Children always learn to do what we do. Being a role model to children is the most important task that we have. Being aware of that task and of our own behavior is essential.
Here are Five Steps to take to help you to not only love yourself but also teach your children how to love and respect themselves:
1. Silence the critic within. Stop putting yourself down and judging yourself for what you do and how you do things.
2. Acknowledge yourself for your talents abilities and positive traits.
3. Practice affirmations. Take time everyday to tell yourself how worthy you are. Celebrate your accomplishments and your strengths. Eventually, it will be second nature to you.
4. Accept yourself unconditionally for who you are. Know that you are special and intended in this world.
5. Let your children see you treat yourself well. Be a good role model for them.
Return from childrens self-esteem to Girls's Body Image