What would you be doing right now if you truly believed in yourself?
As I reflect back over my life, one thing is very obvious to me…
The quality and destiny of our life is greatly determined by our level of self-esteem.
If we have a high level of self-esteem, we are more likely to use and develop our many talents.
In the same token, if we have low self-esteem, our talents often go undeveloped and we may underachieve.
So what does this have to do with parenting?
As parents, we want our children to feel good about themselves and feel fulfilled as adults. It should be the top priority if you care at all about their future.
So having been a mom for nearly 20 yrs now, I have developed a list of the top 5 ways to raise self confident children.
I feel that I am qualified to speak on this subject due to the fact that my kids have endured many trials and struggles in their lives, and still have very high levels of self esteem.
And I feel very strong that the ways I have accomplished this need to be shared with my readers today.
So Here are my five tips that you can do now that can assure high self-esteem for your children.
#1 Celebrate, honor and nurture your child’s uniqueness.
Sometimes this can be difficult especially when your child displays qualities that you are not fond of.
Our natural tendency is to encourage the things we agree with… AND discourage the things we don’t like.
I believe that most children want to please us.
So as parents, we need to be careful that we do not discourage the true spirit of our children.
I know a few people who are not happy in their work today because they are doing what they think their parents want them to do rather than what would make them truly happy. That is so sad to me, life is too short to waste it on a losing battle like, “people pleasing”.
All four of my children are so different from each other. This has taught me to stop and really listen to them, so that I don’t accidentally discourage their dreams.
Figuring out what makes them tick, can also be a bonus when it comes to discipline, you can use that knowledge to keep them on the straight and narrow path.
Once you have identified their “currency”, you can use that knowledge as leverage in those inevitable battles that will pop up. By taking away the thing they love for a short time, you will teach them to self-govern and thereby increase their confidence.
#2 Use parenting methods that encourage personal responsibility.
Offering children choices and opportunities to make decisions, express their opinions and develop leadership, shows children HOW to think not WHAT to think.
I am a firm parent when it comes to letting my kids suffer the consequences of their own choices.
It is difficult to resist the urge to rescue them when they get in trouble.
But by letting them suffer the consequences, (while I stand NEXT to them and assure them that my love is unconditional,) I am teaching them that I can’t always fix the situations that they have created themselves which will naturally teach them personal responsibility. It also creates in them an understanding of cause and effect, thereby strengthening their decision making abilities.
Once a child understands that the life they are experiencing is a direct result of their choices and nobody else, they then have the knowledge to improve their lives through their choices, and will not likely ever fall prey to the “VICTIM MENTALITY”.
#3 Model and teach your children the value of contributing.
Being helpful is often the thing that makes us feel truly valuable. The more your child finds their value by being helpful, the more support your child will receive from society.
One of my favorite sayings is:
I love to take my children to work with me and give them a special job to do around the school.
This summer My 12 yr old is in charge of preparing the greenhouse at the school for the upcoming school year. I have given him a list of supplies, and cleaning chores associated with this assignment. I have made arrangements with the Principal to have him recognized for his work.
Each time I am able to give my children jobs like this, I see them grow in confidence. They understand that they were important in a big project and can have pride in knowing that they are making life better for themselves and others.
#4 Instruct your child to be proactive.
It can be extremely discouraging to feel powerless.
One of the best ways to empower your child is to explore together many solutions to a problem, go through possible consequences of each solution, and choose a solution that serves the interest of everyone involved.
Children who have this tutelage gain a lot of confidence in solving problems, whereas… those who never receive this kind of teaching often find themselves stuck in a pattern of being a victim, and will tend to carry on this pattern as an adult.
I speak to my children often about issues such as money, and my schedule.
I have them sit with me as I pay the monthly bills and tell them that when I stay on top of my financial obligations, I have more freedom with my money.
I have taught them since they were young to do all the things that each day gives them to do, otherwise the “TO DO” list will just keep growing and eventually they will reach a point of overwhelm.
This concept applies to every area of life, so make sure your children understand that they have the power to stay on top of their health, money, chores, grades, etc. This will give them a firm sense of control over their lives.
#5 Impart to your child the importance of valuing what he thinks and feels about himself over what others think of him.
I cannot stress this point enough.
It took me forty years to understand this, and once I did, the quality of my life improved immediately.
When children start to think that another’s opinion is more valuable than theirs, they lose their sense of self.
A great toll is taken when children give up who they are in order to be liked by others.
I have suffered through years of abuse and pain because of this very issue.
If I had only understood that it was not only OK, but necessary for me to stand firm in my truth, and demand that I be treated fairly, I would have prevented so much unnecessary pain in my life.
This is a lesson I spend lots and lots of time teaching my children. I now do it by example as well as through role playing and conversations when they have issues that arise with friends.
This is one of the most valuable gifts you will bless your children with… The knowledge that they are perfect exactly as they are.
I tell my kids that if someone needs them to change in order to like them, then that person didn’t like them in the first place and they should “walk away” from those kind of friends.
Your child’s self-esteem is critical to his future success.
The investment of time in building your child’s self-esteem now will benefit not only your child but also your community!