Build your child’s self-esteem

Ester Steyn

To function effectively,

To have inner joy and serenity,

To make something out of life

These are the results of having a good self-esteem.

Children learn from caregivers’ example.

Every child believes what you say: whether it is that he or she is cute and that you are proud of him or her, or that he is bad and disobedient. He begins to act accordingly, because this is the way he sees himself. Talk about the “mistakes” that were made. Guide him to do recover what he did wrong.

Communication – without shouting and showing disapproval with your body language – paves the way for building a child’s self-esteem. Teach your child that there are two ways to communicate: the nice and proper way, which has a good outcome, or the improper way that does not work. They are allowed to make mistakes and learn from it.

Teach your child to listen. Look each other in the eye and concentrate and really listen to and hear what is being said.

Teach your child to make right choices. When he realises that you allow him to choose because you trust him, it empowers him.

Be patient.

Rules are necessary. Keep it few, but keep to it. One attains so much more with loving and sensible dialogue, than with scolding, blaming and senseless punishment.

When punishing your child:

Clearly point out why punishment is needed. Ensure him of your love

Remind him that he will always be a very special child.

Adapted from the article which was originally published in My Child and I, Autumn 2012.


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