Children need to first know they are loved and accepted for who they are. Then, with this as a base, their natural impulse is to take that love and learn to contribute it to the world in constructive ways. Self-esteem is the best gift you can give your child.
Below are example qualities of a mature adult with high self-esteem. You are important in developing these qualities in your children.
- is proud of his or her accomplishments.
- can act independently.
- assumes responsibility.
- feels capable of taking charge of situations in his or her own life.
- can postpone gratification.
- seeks help when needed.
- is confident and resourceful.
- is active, energetic, and spontaneously expresses his or her feelings.
- is relaxed and can manage stress.
Example qualities of a mature adult with low self-esteem. Children may have these qualities due to immaturity. You influence their ability to develop high self-esteem.
- feels powerless.
- becomes easily frustrated.
- is overly sensitive.
- constantly needs reassurance.
- is easily influenced by others.
- frequently uses the phrases “I don’t know” or “I don’t care.”
- is uncooperative, angry.
- is uncommunicative.
- is clingy, dependent.
- is constantly complaining.
- has a general negative attitude.
- plays it safe by avoiding situations that require taking risks.
Four Key Needs to Develop in your Children for High Self-Esteem
Only if a person’s basic emotional needs are filled, can a person learn to like and value themselves. For this reason understanding our children’s needs is the first step in creating the proper climate for healthy growth and development. Our kids have lots of individual needs, but they can all be grouped into four main categories. Self-esteem results when children experience a sense of satisfaction in each of these areas.
Belonging: You feel that you are important to someone whom you respect and whose opinion you value
Uniqueness: You feel you did something that only you could have done in that particular way. You feel special and have a sense of your own unique gifts.
Power: You feel you are in charge and get things done that you set out to do. You feel confident that you can handle whatever you are faced with.
Freedom of Expression: You share a difficult-to-express thought feeling, or opinion with someone, and in doing so, you connect with that person on a deeper level than ever before.
I suggest examining your parenting style. Are you giving your children opportunities to develop the four needs? If you aren’t sure, or feel concerned that your child is exhibiting signs of low self-esteem then contact me. I can evaluate your current approach and suggest changes that will develop more self-esteem. It’s important to know that when you change then you will see a profound improvement in your children’s view of themselves.
Reference: Author Jean Illsley Clarke
©2013 Cynthia Klein, Bridges 2 Understanding, has been a Certified Parent Educator since 1994. She works with parents and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children of all ages. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking, webinars, and private parent coaching sessions. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and writes the Middle School Mom column for the Parenting on the Peninsula magazine. Contact Cynthia at bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com, cynthia@bridges2understanding,com, or 650. 341.0779 to learn more about creating the relationship you want with your children.