Your self-esteem affects everything you do. It reflects “you” to everyone with whom you come in contact. Each of us is born with the capacity for positive feelings, but it is possible to learn not to like yourself through practice and/or life experiences.
Here are a few tips to help raise well adjusted, productive adults:
1. Love Abundantly: The most important task is to love and really care about your child. This gives him/her a sense of security, belonging and support.
2. Discipline Constructively: Give clear direction and enforce the limits on your child’s behavior. Emphasize “do this”, rather than “don’t do this”.
3. Whenever possible spend time with your children: Play with them, talk with them, teach them to develop a family spirit and give them a sense of belonging.
4. Foster Independence: Gradually allow children more freedom and control over their lives. As they get older, phase yourself out of the picture, but always be near when they need you. Doing too much for our children fosters dependence not independence. When you do for them what they can and should do for themselves, you are teaching them that they are not competent.
5. Offer Guidance: Be brief. Don’t give speeches. And don’t force your opinions on your children.
6. Listen: This means giving your children undivided attention, putting aside your beliefs and feelings and trying to understand your children’s point of view.
7. Develop Mutual respect: Act in a respectful way toward your children. Say “please” and “thank you”, and apologize when you are wrong. Children who are treated with respect will then know how to treat you and others respectfully.
8. Teach your children right from wrong: They need to be taught basic values and manners so that they will get along well in society. Insist that they treat others with kindness, respect and honesty.
9. Give the needs of your mate priority: A husband and wife are more likely to be successful parents when they put their marriage first. Don’t worry about the children getting “second best.” Child-centered households produce neither happy marriages nor happy children.
10. Be Realistic, Expect to make mistakes: Be aware that outside influences such as peer pressure will increase as children mature. Don’t expect things to go well all the time. Child rearing has never been easy.
Parents are the best teachers of self-esteem. It is within the family that a young person forms the human bonds that to a large extent influence all subsequent relationships. For further information, please contact The Hellenic Therapy Center, 567 Park Avenue, Scotch Plains, New Jersey or call 908-322-0112. We have a team of licensed professionals available day, evening or weekend hours. Visit our website at www.hellenictherapy.com for further articles on parenting, self esteem and self love.