Parent’s want their children to grow up self-confident and capable. Sometimes without even realizing it, your responses may be doing the exact opposite.
Parenting coach, Damara Simmons, points up three subtle ways we can unknowingly put a damper on a child’s confidence:
- Telling a child something is easy when, for the child, it is clearly not. Sends the message: “You are not capable.”
- Helping a child do too much to accomplish a task. Makes them think, “Something must be wrong with me since I cannot do this easy thing.”
- “Freaking out” when mistakes are made. Sends the message: “Mistakes are so bad, you should get upset about them, and doubt yourself.”
So what should we do about our children’s self-esteem?
The Child Development Institute published a wonderful article about how to build a child’s self-esteem that is packed with advice. Among the gems:
- When you feel good about your child, mention it to him or her.
- Be generous with praise.
- Teach your child to practice making positive self-statements.
- Psychologists have found that negative self-talk is behind depression and anxiety. Discourage it.
- Teach your child about decision-making and to recognize when he/she has made a good decision.
Source: The Child Development Institute
A Final Word…
As parents, we often bring our own frustrations, problems, childhood traumas and more to the table as we interact with our own kids or grandkids. Incessant distractions from our smartphones and tablets do not make it any easier to stay focused.
As a first step, we highly recommend trying our very best to put all that personal stuff aside. Reacting to a child’s behavior should be all about them, not us. And about love.
Edited by: Clifford S. Yurman