Building your Child's Self Esteem: What our Words and Actions Can Do To Them

counterproductive behavior in children and how parents are causing it.

Our children and whatever will become of them in the future is the greatest contribution we'll ever have in society. And our roles as parents has everything do to with it.

Growing up in a society that accentuates family above everything else, I've learned that whatever my parents and other other adults told or shown me before made an impact to who I am right now. And in this article, I will discuss the things we adults sometimes unwittingly do or say infront of children that has a huge effect on their outlook later on in life.

For all parents out there - this one's for us.

1. Comparing Kids to Other Children Breeds Jealousy

Regardless of how your child behaves or acts, you have no right to compare them to other kids. A great percentage of parents tend to make this mistake. If you somehow find yourself in a situation where you want to blurt out "why can't you be like your brother?" Stop! Breath deeply and make sure that the next words that will come out of you lips will be firm but not degrading words of comparison. Personality development happens in the early stages of life and to be compared with others can make them feel that being different is bad or unacceptable. The tendency is for them to become overly jealous of others - they'd later on feel they are never good enough.

In addition, this can also develop a personality where a child, once an adult, will often try to please everybody. If we want our children to be happy individuals, we have to make them feel that they are special and that being different is not a bad thing (teach them what's right and wrong but never alienate them). You can do this by giving them credit and if they somehow make a mistake, reprimand right away but never compare.

2. Swearing (or cursing) Creates Disrespectful Children

I've read somewhere that the fastest way to lose the respect of your children is to either swear at them or to hear you swear at someone else (your partner). Children are great imitators. Their brains are like sponges and can soak up information faster than you think. That's because they are at their stage of curiosity; peak of learning. When kids are cursed at by any adult the tendency is for them to do the same thing to other children. And it could hurt them emotionally. And if you try to tell them off, they won't listen because mom and dad are both doing it anyway.

So how does this affect your child?

Hearing adults curse or swear creates an environment where kids become careless about being rude. They simply won't care about being disrespectful and tactless and it will eventually affect their social skills later on in life.

3. Over-Protectiveness Can Enhance Laziness and Low Self - Esteem

How can a parent do this? By sheltering your child too much and by not letting them learn and explore on their own. Being strict is one thing but restricting your child because you are afraid they will get sick or get hurt is a another thing. In most cases, this happens when a child has history of illness therefore the parents may feel the need to always protect their child at all times by not letting him get involved in activities that other children are involved in. If a child's tolerance can be adjusted then you need to make the adjustment yourself. Sooner or later the child will become an adult and will also carry on the habit of either limiting himself or making an excuse of not being able to do something because of his condition. This allows the child to always think that he "can't" even if he "can". It also will make the child question his ability that's why it's not best to always say "NO" or "Don't" to your children.

4. Not Letting Them Choose Can Cause Mediocrity

When I was in highschool I had the pleasure of meeting and making friends with different individuals who are so talented they can be famous for it! I have this one classmate who loves to draw and write (a perfect combination, right?). Her manga (Japanese style of drawing) is awesome! It's as if she's been studying all her life to perfect it. She would create comic books for the class and we'd all read them - with pleasure. Then she stopped doing it all together. When asked about it, she would just shook her head and say nothing at all. Years later, I learned that she worked as a Customer Service Representative and have been hopping from one company to another just to make a living. Upon hearing this, I remembered how popular manga is now and how great she is at it. She was infact been put down by her parents and was forced to study accountancy, which she did not finish. All throughout highschool all she talked about was getting into fine arts and publishing and making a name for herself.

This maybe a solitary case, but it actually windows a lot of us.

We sometimes don't like the idea of having our children do something else because we thought it will not be good for them and the child might face rejection. Being able to let your child choose independently can help them be confident in themselves even when others are not. We may be the ones who gave birth to them but they have their own ambition and dreams which we can only respect and support.

As parents, we are only here for our kids to guide and nurture their them. Good parenting springs forth from acceptance, respect and love, which we can only provide if we are aware that simple actions can change our children's course of life. As much as we want to smother then with care and protect them from the outside world - our fears will not help them at all. We've all been children before and we must never forget how our dreams made us feel so alive back then - it drives us to achieve more and be better. As an adults now, we can only control ourselves but not others even if they are our children.



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