Raising Confident and Secure Children
Strong self-esteem is the foundation for success in many areas, including social, educational, athletic and career pursuits. For example, a healthy and positive self image may help also protect children from abusing drugs and alcohol, entering unhealthy relationships, and engaging in delinquent behavior as they grow up. Raising your children to have positive self-esteem is an arduous, but extremely rewarding process.
Temperament Makes a Difference
Some children may have a more difficult time developing a positive self image because of their temperament. As adults, we need to be aware of these inborn traits that cause children to respond differently to praise, punishment, and frustration. By recognizing the distinct traits of your children, you may become more empathic and understanding parents. Raising “difficult” children may require a parenting style different from the kind that works with “easy going children”. If you appreciate and accept each child’s unique personality and incorporate this recognition into your parental behaviors and expectations, the child’s self-esteem is likely to improve.
Know Your Child’s Strengths and Weaknesses
Accurately viewing your children can help bolster their self-esteem. Develop an inventory of your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Take care to list actual positive and negative traits as opposed to traits you would like your children to display. Reinforcing positive qualities is a successful way to bolster self-esteem. Parental approval and encouragement can shape children’s behavior so look for opportunities to praise. Be careful not to flatter excessively because this could put too much pressure on the child. Assess the negative qualities as well, looking for such counter-productive coping mechanisms as quitting, cheating, regression, controlling, bullying, denial, and impulsive behavior. Some undesirable behaviors may be a matter of personal style or part of a transient phase in a child’s development. While recognizing both the positive and negative traits, you can help your children meet their needs in a healthier and more productive manner.
Reprinted with the permission of the National Association of Social Workers.
Add your own comment
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- The Five Warning Signs of Asperger's Syndrome
- First Grade Sight Words List
- Graduation Inspiration: Top 10 Graduation Quotes
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- What Makes a School Effective?
- Child Development Theories
- Should Your Child Be Held Back a Grade? Know Your Rights
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- Smart Parenting During and After Divorce: Introducing Your Child to Your New Partner