BElieve in YOUrself
If you are like most of today’s parents, you probably focus on keeping your kids busy, having them involved in sports, extracurricular activities and the community. You try to keep them fed and cleaned and keep nice clothes on their backs. You help them study, you check homework, you help to create science projects or you edit essays and book reports.
teaching our children to know and love themselves
There seems to be an intense focus on having our children succeed in the physical world. We want them to do well in school, in the workforce, and in life. However, we tend to lose sight of what makes our children who they are – their uniqueness and how they know and love themselves. We worry so much about fixing their problems that we ignore the true source of those issues.
Instilling a sense of self-love in your little one is not a chore or a process – it’s a way of living. Consider the following ideas to help your child develop self-confidence and love.
You’ll never know what is truly happening in your little one’s mind if there is no open communication between you. Foster a healthy relationship of communication by encouraging your child to talk to you and never judging when they do. Accept what they say, even if you don’t agree with it. Healthy communication is the foundation to helping your child discover their self-worth.
be a role model
Children learn from what they see and if they see a strong, confident parent then they will likely see themselves as strong and confident too. Our little ones identify themselves as extensions of us so when we treat ourselves well, they feel treated well too. When it comes to the rest of the ideas in this list, remember to apply those concepts to yourself as well.
Teaching our children to love themselves is a hard lesson simply because it’s hard to love ourselves at times. So, while teaching them, you’re teaching yourself, forgiving yourself for your own flaws and indiscretions and using what you learn to continue your path to self-growth.
let your child make mistakes
As I mentioned above, we are so quick to help our children when they are in trouble and make all their problems go away. Children will never learn self-confidence if all their issues are solved for them or if they are not allowed to make mistakes. We all do, so it is important to teach your child how to deal with and learn from those mistakes.
practice positive self-talk and affirmations
I once read that an exercise in self-love is to look at yourself in a mirror and while looking into your eyes tell yourself that you truly love yourself, unconditionally and completely. I tried it and it was pretty awkward and difficult. I had my 6yr old son and 2yr old daughter do it and what transpired was pretty interesting to me. My son giggled and thought it silly but my daughter participated and even gave herself a kiss!
As silly as it may seem, practicing positive self-talk and affirmations is proven to build self-esteem and self-love – and it’s a great activity to do as a family as well!
love and encourage them
Lastly, your love and encouragement will help them build the inner strength to discover and develop their self-love and confidence. Be sure to give them sincere praise when they do something good and loving guidance when they do something wrong.
Nowadays it may seem that our society is focused solely on the success of our children that pressure and judgment becomes a part of everyday life. Teaching self-love and confidence provides your children with the tools they need to resist these pressures and judgments.
In the end, strong, resilient and confident people are, not only more successful, but also happy. Which is what we ultimately want for our children.
books that encourage confidence and self-love
Sometimes the best way to convey a message to your little one is through books. Check out I Believe in Me: A Book of Affirmations by Connie Bowen. This beautifully illustrated book provides positive affirmations that you and your child(ren) can enjoy together. Be Who You Are by Todd Parr encourages kids to accept themselves as they are and I Like Me by Nancy Carlson teaches children how important it is to be your own best friend.
Please enjoy this free Tot Tails coloring page to help share this message with your child.