I’ve mentioned this before in my social media posts, but I worry about self-esteem in my children.
I can talk until I’m blue in the face about all the things I adore about them…I can tell them they’re the bee’s knees over and over, but eventually, in the end, that self-esteem has to come from them. Not from their mother. BUT there are ways we can help them nudge them in the right direction to gain that all important quality. Something they are going to need throughout life to make tough decisions and to find their own purpose.
Years ago a friend raved about a book called Your Child’s Self Esteem. I ordered it and skimmed it, but I haven’t taken a real dive into it. I need to get busy with that one…another nudge came last night since I randomly came across this post back HERE that gave the “cliff notes” from that very book.
I figure there are other moms out there with the same worries as I have, so I’m pasting in part of that post right here today. It’s from a motherhood retreat I attended clear back in 2012. Here you go:
Margaret opened up the day on Saturday. She spoke about helping our children develop self-esteem. She highly recommended a book called Your Child’s Self-Esteem I am going to have to order because she brought up SO many points from it. I am going to write some highlights of my notes because it was like she was speaking right to me. Here you go:
- Children value themselves to the degree they feel valued.
- Of course we love our children and we assume they know that. But there is a difference between being loved and feeling loved.
- You are a psychological mirror that your children use to build their identity.
- Be aware of giving technology more attention than we give our children. [there it was: that warning about social media clear back in 2012!] Do our eyes light up when our children enter a room? They should!
- Sometimes as mothers we habitually attend to what is missing or what is wrong instead of building up the good stuff. Margaret told a story of when she got so frustrated with her son for forgetting things and missing the bus. She dropped him off at the school with all the weight of her lecture weighing him down. As she was about to take off, her younger son rolled down the window and called out to his older brother: “I love you!!” Oh the way she told that story made me so motivated to ease up a little on those lectures!
- Kids are such a work in progress…we should put ourselves in their shoes as often as we can.
- Find the goodness in each child and build that up. Reinforce the good parts of the day and how they made you feel. We all need positive feedback, right?
- Compliment kids in front of other kids…pray about how grateful you are for them with them at your side.
- Undivided attention with each child is so important! (that made me glad we do the things I wrote about back here)
- We are all encumbered and frazzled by so many things. We need to be sure that we acknowledge that those sweet children are so much more important than a phone call, email, blog post, etc.
- Show love through service. The mundane (helping them clean a room, a sincere compliment) can become monumental.
I’m sure some of those notes were from what other mothers added to the discussion, not just from the book, but I needed those reminders right about now in my mothering and wanted to share.
There are some other good notes I shared from that retreat and those inspirational mamas back there in that post (HERE) as well…check them out if you want more detail.
Just some thoughts for a Monday. I’d love to hear other thoughts on helping to nurture self-esteem in children. As I mentioned back HERE, I think low self-esteem is becoming an epidemic and I’m hoping to combat that in my corner of the world in any way I can!