The majority of parents believe their kids to be special. And, of course, they are. Each day they witness their curiosity, and their intelligence, enthusiasm, and sense of fun. They watch as this tiny little human grows and develops an identity and unique personality. It can, therefore, be heartbreaking to realise that your amazing child doesn’t see this. And worse, that they are not conscious of their self-worth and lack confidence.
If you’ve ever completed that therapeutic exercise where you write a letter to your younger self, you’ll know that you want to hug that person, tell them that it will all be okay and give them advice from the benefit of hindsight. If you have children, you can impart all of this wisdom and help them to understand their value and worth in the world.
Responding To Needs
From being an infant, your child will provide you with cues to let you know that they need attention. When your baby cries, if you respond with love and affection, this sends a signal that they are being responded to and therefore have worth. The same is true as children get older. They rarely come right out and tell you that they need attention but will find many ways to achieve it. Even naughtiness can be a form of attention-seeking. Though your response to this behaviour is likely to be negative, this is better than being ignored.
So responding to your child’s needs will help them develop their sense of worth from a very young age. Of course, it’s not possible to drop everything and respond to your child immediately; but developing a pattern of positive responses is usually sufficient.
All children are different. Some will enjoy sports, some will enjoy reading and learning, others will excel at dance or acting. It’s important to encourage your child in their interests, without pushing them. If you come from a family of academics, but your child isn’t following in these footsteps, don’t try to force it. Not listening to their needs and desires signals that they are not valued, or worse, that there is something intrinsically wrong with them.
Traditionally some hobbies and achievements are praised and rewarded but not others. Whatever area your child excels in, should be valued. Help them feel a sense of accomplishment and achievement. Simple things like gold stars, badges, or trophies can help with this. Premiertrophies.co.uk and other companies provide custom engraving on a range of awards.
Let Them Take Responsibility
Doing everything for your son or daughter and not allowing them to be responsible for their own actions, can indicate that they are not up to the job. Whereas, trusting them to make decisions and allowing them some freedoms has the opposite effect. Of course, they still need limits. Though they will push against boundaries, their existence provides a sense of safety, security and feeling cared for. It’s a balancing act to get this just right.
Sometimes it can feel as though parents are pressured to be perfect. Do this, and your child will feel lonely. Do that, and your child will be spoiled. Sometimes it’s difficult knowing what to do for the best. Self-esteem is important. It helps form your child’s place in the world, how they respond to others and the choices they make. The best gift you can give your child to develop their self-worth is your time.
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