Kids develop an image of themselves at a very early age. It is important to help children at an early age to have a health self image.
Nathaniel Branden, a psychiatrist and expert on the subject of self esteem, says, “No factor is more important in people’s psychological development and motivation than the value judgments they make about themselves. Every aspect of their life is impacted by the way they see themselves.”
Your child really is filled with a great amount of potential. As parents, sometimes we see our financial, educational, or other limitations and place them on our kids. Branden also has said, “If you feel inadequate to face challenges, unworthy of love or respect, unentitled to happiness, and fear assertive thoughts, wants, or needs—your self esteem deficiency will limit you, no matter what other assets you possess.” Helping our kids believe in themselves is very important.
Four keys to Helping Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem
1. Tell your child that you believe in them. Nothing can empower your child more than when they think their mom and dad believe in them. The words “I believe in you” are powerful. Give your child specific examples of why you believe in them.
2. Have fun with your child. A family that plays together grows stronger together. When a family has fun together it tells your child that you want to be with them, creates security, and strengthens feelings about themselves and their family.
3. Find ways to say “yes.” As parents it is our responsibility to create boundaries for our kids. However, it is said that by the time you are seventeen you have heard “no, you can’t,” an average of 150,000 times and “yes, you can,” about 5,000 times. That is 30 nos to every yes. Kids need boundaries and will have to be told “no”, but find as many ways to say “yes” as possible.
4. Teach your child the value of helping others. John Maxwell writes that “it’s hard to feel bad about yourself when you’re doing something good for someone else.” Helping others will teach your child that all people have value. It’s a great time of year to find a way to help other people.