Builds Self Esteem
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|Steps to Building your Child's Self-Esteem (Page 1 of 2)
Low self-esteem is becoming an epidemic for children. As parents we think that if we constantly praise children, it will help in building their self-esteem. Praise is good when used appropriately. However, overlooking bad behavior and not helping children be accountable for their wrong choices only makes their feelings of self worth lower. Parents can stay positive with their child while still allowing for consequences to take place. Some ways to help build true feelings of self-worth are helping with successful experiences, accepting feelings, offering choices, and giving responsibility.
Help Your Child with Successful Experiences
When parents keep their expectations realistic, children are more likely to succeed. Fit expectations to match age, temperment, and backgrounds. For example giving a chore list to an eight-year old that says, "clean the whole house," is unrealistic and the eight year old is likely to throw-up their hands in frustration.
When you come home, the house is still a mess and the child is playing video games. You then bawl out the child and send him to his room and he is left feeling unsuccessful. A more age-appropriate chore list would be more specific and have only 2-3 chores a day. For example one that says, "make your bed, pick up your clothes, and vaccuum the living room." You have to be sure that the child knows how to use the vaccuum and how to make a bed. If the child tries and the bed is still lumpy, instead of being frustrated the parent can say, "I appreciate that you made your bed. Would you like me to show you how to make it all smooth?" Train the child how to do chores; teach them instead of criticizing.
Accept All Feelings and Teach Them How to Deal with Them
As adults we feel hurt, sad, angry, happy, joyful. We may even feel two emotions at once. Sometimes our feelings are so strong they don't make sense or are may even be untrue. It is only natural that children, who have only begun to experience complex emotions, will exhibit bad behavior now and then. Parents need to try to understand the emotion and not tell the child their emotion is wrong. Help them find positive ways to deal with strong emotions and emphasize that bad behavior doesn't make a bad person. Allow the child to make mistakes and learn from them.
For example, a three-year-old is tired of being bullied so she starts to be the bully. The child might say, "I'm mad, so I'm pushing kids." The parent would reply, "I understand that your mad and it hurts when other kids push you. Could you come and tell mommy when you're being pushed instead of pushing back?" The child knows you are an ally; you understand and want to keep them safe. You might even watch the child play with friends, so she knows you are right there if she needs to come to you when she's feeling mad. When the child learns to positively deal with negative emotions, self-esteem will increase.
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