As the new school year approaches, consider these important parenting lessons.
2. Be a positive role model. If you are excessively harsh on yourself, pessimistic or unrealistic about your abilities and limitations, your kids might eventually mirror you. Nurture your own self-esteem and they will have a great role model. Single? 10 Ways To Boost Your Self-Confidence
3. Identify and redirect inaccurate beliefs. It is important for parents to identify a child's irrational beliefs, whether they have beliefs about perfection, attractiveness, ability or anything else. Helping kids set more accurate standards and be more realistic in evaluating themselves will help them have a healthy self-image.
Inaccurate perceptions of self can take root and become reality to kids. For example, a child who does very well in school, but struggles with math may say, "I can't do math. I'm a bad student." Not only is this a false generalization, it is also a belief that can set a child up for failure. Encourage your kids to see a situation in a more objective way. A helpful response might be, "You are a good student. You do great in school. Math is a subject that you need to spend more time on. We will work on it together."
4. Be spontaneous and affectionate. Your love will help boost your child's self-esteem. Give hugs and tell your kids you are proud of them when you can see that they are putting effort toward something or trying something at which they previously failed. Put notes in your child's lunchbox with messages like, "I think you are terrific."
Give praise often and honestly, but without overdoing it. Having an inflated sense of self can lead kids and teens to put others down or feel that they are better than everyone else, which can be socially isolating.
5. Give positive, accurate feedback. Comments like "You always work yourself up into such a frenzy," will make your kids feel like they have no control over their outbursts. A better statement is, "I can see you were very angry with your brother, but it was nice that you were able to talk about it instead of yelling or hitting." This acknowledges a child's feelings, rewards the choice made and encourages the child to make the right choice again next time.