Parenting; 10 tips to ensure that your child becomes insecure and develop a low self esteem!
- Let your children daily and all the time get the message that they are a burden to you!
- Criticise your children every time they make a mistake while they learn new things. Or even better; laugh at them when they fail!
- Focus only on your child’s behaviour! Make them understand that the most important skill in life is the small things such as; to sit right on a chair at the dinner-table, eat in a perfect manner etc.
- Criticise their personality in front of others.
- Spank them when they do something wrong.
- Never listen to what they have to say! Their opinion doesn't count!
- Teach them that the opinion of others is the most important thing in life!
- Teach them that they shouldn't show their feelings. If they cry they are week, if they are afraid they are regarded as a sissy, and we all know that children are not allowed to show anger!
- Have so high demands on them that they get a constant bad conscience for never being good enough.
- Treat them as adults. Expect an adult behaviour from them. In that way they will fail all the time.
By following the advices above your child can become a perfectionist, a bully, an abuser, a liar, a controlled freak, a human without empathy or a person that always performs and must assert himself/herself in all positions! And they will know that the only way to feel good is to make others seem bad, worse or wrong.
But as you might have guessed, I sure hope no child is brought up in this way!
No, this isn’t the way we help our children to become secure and happy adults. I don’t say it is easy be a parent. In fact, it is very difficult and if you read my other hub about how not to be a perfect parent you will see that I don’t have all the solutions.
Even if we have a better life these days, materially, it doesn't look like humans of today feel any better! On the contrary, many people live their lives constantly focus on being dissatisfied!
They can be dissatisfied with their life, their work, the society, the authorities, the school system, the politician, their wages, their children etc. There is always something to be dissatisfied about!
But you don’t hear people talk so much about that they are dissatisfied with their own personality, their insecurity, their low self esteem, or with their ability to help others, to see others, to accept others for who they are and so on. Instead we focus on material things; we want a better car, a bigger house, more clothes and expensive clothes and of course a more glamorous job which will give us more money.
Humans may be good at inventing tools and great technology, infrastructure and other useful things. But we seem to be less good at the development of human behaviour! Generation after generation struggle with almost the same problems on human behaviour and there seems to be no learning along the way! The question is if we have developed at all from the time humans started their journey on Earth! Evolution is indeed a long-term development that can’t be seen during a lifetime but behind our house walls and our fancy clothes I doubt that we are more sophisticated than the Stone-Age man! As for the human behaviour we have a long way to go and we must start with our children!
Watch the video below and you will understand where I am going with this!
So, how do you give your children a harmonic personality with strong self-esteem, self-security and curiosity on life and curiosity on new things?
1. Let them feel they are special!
Tell them for example; I love you so much because you are you! I am so lucky to be your parent and have the possibility to live with you because you are so kind and funny! Let them know you like them simply because of their personality and not because of what they do or achieve in life! Praising them for their personality will do wonder for their self-esteem. Take a few moments daily and look straight at them when they talk to you or when you see them after school. It is so easy to let our daily shores get in the way and only listen to what they say while you do something else. By giving them your attention you give a signal that they are important and that they are interesting to you.
2. Let children fail and try again!
Childhood is about learning, and if we are going to learn we have to fail. It is part of the package! To fail isn't the end of the world and they learn something vital from each time they fail. Give them suggestions of how to do things in another way if you have the answers and let them try again. To fail isn't a failure - it is a necessary part of the learning process!
I wish that less focus were put on the behaviour area! No, I do not mean that children should be allowed to behave as they please! It is important to learn how to behave since we need to be accepted and live in a society. To show gratitude, to be polite and know good manners is important in life. You will get nowhere as an adult with bad manners. But small children don’t need to behave as adults because they are not small adults! It isn't natural for a child to sit up straight at the dinner table and eat with a fork and knife, it is not natural for small children to sit still and behave like grown ups. Let them have their childish manner when they are children and hopefully they will maintain some of it when they get old! You do not need to worry, even if they spill food at the table and don’t sit still as children they will learn how to be social acceptable in a restaurant as adults! To learn this kind of trivia doesn't take a lifetime if you do it when they have better ability to learn.
4. Acknowledge their personality!
By acknowledge their personality as something good, and praise them for being who they are you acknowledges their personality. I love the way you treat your friends and your sense for being such a good friend. Tell them when they have done something good as a person, when they have done a good choice, been brave, been afraid or even stubborn. Give them security in their own choices in life. You can praise your child for performance and you should as encouragement. But when you do; connect it with telling them why and make sure you connect it with a personal attribute. In this way you focus on the good things and the right way and eventually you don’t need to teach them what they shouldn't do!
5. Don’t use violence against children!
To hit or spank a child is the total failure as a parent! An adult beating a child is a betrayal, an abuse of adult responsibility since we have advantage in muscle strength. The strength that we as adults have in order to protect our children has instead been turned against them, to harm them. There is the greatest failure. You can’t beat sense in to anyone. Let them know they done something wrong and most important; tell them why, talk to them, explain to them, but to spank them doesn't solve anything. The only thing it shows is that the adult is a week person who has to hit someone so much smaller then themselves. It is far too easy and doesn't take any skill as a parent at all!
6. Listen to what children say and respect their opinions!
In our society it is vital and important that we can express ourselves and communicate with others. Without great communication skills they will get problem later on in life. So let your child practice from the beginning. You are the adult with all the experience but you do not have the answers or the right opinion in any given single situations! Let them make such decisions that are appropriate to their age and do not be afraid to compromise now and then when it is possible. It is so important that others listen to what you say and it is the same with children. They can’t have what they want all the time but they must be allowed to have an opinion.
7. Make them understand that they are unique!
You do that by practice to listen to your child. Sometimes we are too focused on helping them and give them solutions even if they don’t want it! Try instead and just be present without you taking over the responsibility or judge what they tell you or try to interpret or understand. You do not need to understand everything. If they are allowed to handle their own feelings with your support they will be able to build a strong self-esteem. Personally I think this is the hardest thing when it comes to parenting! It is so easy to just take over and swiftly try to solve all their problems since in my opinion I know best and I don’t want them to have any problem! As long as they are small children you have to do it because they can’t, so you have to show them. The difficult part is to stop when they grow up because then it has become a habit! As a parent you want the best for your children and you don’t want them to make unnecessary mistakes. But eventually you will have to let them try to solve things by themselves and your role from that moment is to stay in the background. If they need your help, they will ask you!
8. Let children show feelings!
It is ok to cry, to show anger or other feelings. Encourage them to show feelings in every situation needed. You do that by staying with them when they cry, hug them and just be there while they cry and don’t try to comfort them in order to put a smile on their face as fast as possible. As a parent you do not want your child to be unhappy or afraid but it must be allowed to show feelings if they need it! By our feelings we learn how to handle different situations in life. By showing sorrow we show that we are capable of feelings and that we can feel empathy with others. Anger shows that we can draw limits and say no when it is needed and also preserves our integrity that is so important. Fear makes us vigilant and is a sign that we can protect ourselves from dangerous and unpleasant surprises.
9. Scrap the bad conscience!
Has a bad conscience ever lead to something good or had a positive effect in any situation? I can’t imagine any such time when it comes to parenting or from a child’s perspective. Bad conscience is a feeling for not being good enough, for not living up to an expectation, for not having strength enough, for failure. Bad conscience solves nothing! It is much more constructive to learn from the mistakes and do something about it or try again. To sit or walk around with a bad conscience isn't going to get anyone anywhere!
10. Let them be children!
Of course you want the best for your child but do not put the expectation up too high. That will only teach them the opposite and they will never succeed. Help them also to set up reachable goals and teach them to climb in smaller steps from there! It is just as bad if they have to high expectations of their own. They don’t need to be the best or do everything right from the beginning! Instead teach them to take it in small steps and let them know the feeling of success. They are kids and must be allowed to be kids.
Here is a proverb for you that I love:
Don’t be ashamed because you're a human.
Be proud. Inside you, vault after vault will open endlessly.
You will never be complete and it is as it should be!
I realise that there are as many ideas on how to bring up children as there are parents, but this is my personal view and parenting advice! So many people live their life dissatisfied and seek for happiness where it can’t be found. I think it is time we humans give ourselves a brake and allow us to act like humans. Not like some superman chasing after hidden treasures under the rainbows! The real treasure is within us, we just need help to see it and develop the great human mind!