Introducing this Page
This page now takes us on to look at the first three strategies we use to build healthy self-esteem in our child.
Page 7: Introducing Self Esteem
1. What is Self-Esteem and Why is it Important?
2. Signs of Low Self-Esteem
Page 8: Building Self-Esteem (1)
1. Building Self-Esteem through RESPECT
2. Building Self-Esteem by ENCOURAGEMENT
3. Building Self-Esteem by ASSISTING LEARNING
Page 9: Building Self-Esteem (2)
1. Building Self-Esteem by SIMPLY LOVING
2. Building Self-Esteem by TURNING NEGATIVES INTO POSITIVES
3. Beware Going over the top with self-esteem
4. Recap & Overview
1. Building Self-Esteem through RESPECT
a) What is Respect?
Respect is a word that has gone out of currency in much modern life, so we need to think about it a bit.
Observe dictionary definitions of ‘respect':
noun : deferential esteem felt or shown towards person
verb : to admire, esteem, appreciate, give deference to.
Respect is about acknowledging a person for who they are.
Respect can be understood when we consider attitudes or words that are NOT respectful
e.g. we do NOT respect someone (our child, say) when we:
· ignore them
· demean them
· mock them
· deride them
If we do any of these things, therefore, we do not respect our child and we put them down and damage and reduce their self-esteem.
When we respect our children, we accept them as they are.
When someone ‘respects' us, we ‘walk tall', we feel good about who we are, and that changes us.
Our children need to learn respect for themselves, for us, and for others
People who have negative attitudes about others, usually have negative attitudes about themselves. A person who disrespects others disrespects themselves.
b) How you can Help Your Child Learn Respect
i) Generally by the way you respect them
· Accepting them for who they are
· Show your child you understand what they feel. Communicate it.
· Think what's special about them. Communicate it.
· Show that what they like doing is important.
· Giving choices of food, activity etc., imply their desires are important.
· Accepting their mistakes - learning builds up (see later pages).
· As they grow older respect their space – i.e. ‘their' bedroom.
· Doing things with them
· Giving them your time says they are important to you.
· Involving them in the life of the family says you want them around.
Specifically teaching respect
If you want to specifically teach respect, invite your child to think positively about themselves, others in the family, school etc. by saying something good about each person or group.
Begin when your child is a toddler and talk about everyone being treated with kindness and consideration. Praise them when they show respect.
Respect for other people's possessions is important. Your toddler will be learning ownership and that will take several years, and this includes recognising that brothers and sisters own things.
Teaching respect includes teaching respect for their brothers or sisters and a simple starting point is respecting their space, i.e. no going in their rooms except when invited or instructed by you.
Respect is also conveyed by language and so simple ‘please' and ‘thank-you' convey respect (that's what politeness is!)
ii) By the way you respect yourself and others
· Show respect for yourself
· If you care for yourself and think well of yourself, it communicates!
· Show respect for others (that's a really difficult one in practice!)
· If you go on about others that teaches your child to demean others (and you!)
c) Love and Accept Your Child all the time
Respect isn't only given to perfect people; none of us are perfect!
Your child is special, they are unique, there is no one else quite like them
· your child is good at some things and not so good at other things.
· your child will have ups and downs, good days and bad days.
· your child needs you to accept them for who they are on all days.
Correcting your child when necessary is a sign of love – see later pages.
Nagging is not a sign of love; it's a sign of self-centred concern.
If training or correction is needed, as it will be, think how to do it positively.
Challenge! Can I determine never to say or do anything that demeans my child?