Parenting is beautiful. There can never be anything so magical and beautiful than watching your baby grow. But it comes with its own challenges. We, as parents always want the best for our child. Confidence, positive attitude towards life and high self-esteem are the best gifts we can give to our kids. But sometimes our own behaviour shatters their upbringing. So, what exactly is self-esteem? Self- esteem is having confidence in one’s own worth and abilities. It means being confident about our own self. And there are so many ways we damage our kid’s self-esteem:
Constant comparison: At some point in our life we all have done this. I too am guilty of doing this without realising how much I am hurting my child. In the play area, I told him “Look that child is playing independently while you always stick to Mumma” So many parents have this habit of comparing grades of their children with their friends.
Comparing apple with orange is our immaturity and the only thing it helps in, is making your child feel worthless about him/her self. They will always doubt themselves.
Spoon feeding: At one time, we want our kids to be completely independent and on the other side we take all the controls from them. We want them to learn table manners, to dress properly but when they try doing that and create a mess in the process, we totally run out of patience and immediately start feeding them or getting them ready. When you are in a hurry it is okay to dress or feed them but otherwise give them time. Remember, Rome was not built in a day.
Dear mommy & Daddy,
Be clear and consistent in what you want and how you want your kids to learn. They are new at learning a certain skill and they will take their own time. They will spill food, break glasses, drop spoons but that does not mean we will take the spoon away. They will gradually learn but asking them to learn and not giving them the control will make them less competent and less confident. It is just another way to destroy their self-esteem.
Red, Blue, or Green: The world is full of choices. Giving kids choices like letting them choose what they want to wear or letting them decide between the two dishes is a great way. They feel important and powerful. Once they grow up, they would learn to be responsible for their own choices.
Mumma & Papa,
In summers, they might ask to wear woolen gloves. By stopping them or laughing at them you are going right way in destroying their self-esteem. Let them understand the consequences of their choices.
Failures are good: There are parents who can’t see their kids fail and so they don’t let them take risk or any chance. They feel failures will hurt their self-esteem.
Life is full of success and failure. The world out there is harsh. My neighbour Mrs. Sharma is so protective about her son that she never lets him play in jungle gym because she feels he will fall. Not letting them try simply because of the fear of failure is their failure already.
Self-esteem is one of the important factor in the emotional growth of the individual. Kids with positive self-esteem feel loved, worthy and turn out to be successful people. Praise them, appreciate what they do, let them help you in house chores, give them responsibility. All these factors will help them become independent, responsible and mature adults.