Stanley Coopersmith did a study of 1,738 boys:
- Children with high-esteem were clearly more loved at home.
- They had more individual personalities to grow and develop.
- They expressed themselves without fear of ridicule.
- They came from strict families and had more responsibility and accountability at home.
There is a tremendous amount of importance to raising children with high self-esteem. They must love themselves and feel good about themselves. We want to learn as many ways as we can to do what we need to do as parents to be sure our kids do not grow up with low self-esteem. We talked last blog about the danger of kids with this attribute, so let’s talk about some ways parents can raise children’s self-esteem.
Brag on them daily!
Let the first thing you say to them each morning be something that will make them feel good about themselves. This is even better for them than that vitamin you shove down their throats. STOP and think what is the first words they hear?
“Good morning, sunshine, you light up my day!”
“Good morning, my beautiful child…welcome to another day!”
Then let the last thing you say to them before they go to sleep be something that will make them feel special.
“Good night, my love, you made my day a joy!”
“Good night, handsome. Sure am glad you are my son.”
Use your imagination and make them feel like the most special child ever. You can do it, Mom and Dad, and they deserve it! Then throughout the day, continue to brag on them. They brushed their teeth without being told – compliment them. They did a good job making their bed, egg them on with compliments.
If you brag on your kids for what they do, then they will keep doing it because they love to be bragged on. They love the attention. They love the feeling and they most definitely love to please their parents.
Many teens that get into trouble will comment first off, “I can’t do anything right and my parents think I am a loser.” Don’t ever let this be the case with God’s jewels He loaned to you.
Then don’t just compliment on just things they DO, but also who they ARE.
“Your smile makes me smile.”
“You have such nice teeth – so white and straight.”
“Your hair never ceases to amaze me – it’s so shiny and thick.”
“Wow – I love that dress on you – you are stunning.”
“You have a generous, kind heart.”
Look for times and reasons to brag on them all day long. Just be certain not to concentrate only on one of your children. This must be done with all of them. Bragging should be a common thing around our homes.
If you make complimenting an everyday event in your home, then when it is time to disciplining, that is not what will stay in their minds and they will not feel unloved when being punished.
100 one minute cheering sessions are much better than an hour once a week of praise.
Children with high self-esteem will be the great leaders of tomorrow! Let’s make these leaders yours!
If a child feels good about themselves they will not want or need to do bad things to feel accepted by the crowd. Once they get this affirmation at home, it is the foundation for what they will need away from home. Consistency (as always) is the key. Do not brag on them one week and then forget the next two weeks. Make it a daily thing to where it becomes a way of life in your relationship with your kids.
While affirming them, do not ever tell your child that they are better than someone else. This is not necessary to build their self-esteem. Never compare your children among other children. This is unfair and very detrimental to their emotional health and well-being. If one child deserves high praise for doing something a sister didn’t do then find a time when you are alone with them and brag on them. If a sibling feels lesser than the other, they will begin to cut down the one getting all the praise to build themselves up. Also, this is something to look for in your kids. If you find them constantly cutting down someone else, that is a sure sign that they feel of themselves as a nobody. Then, for sure, is the time to up the raising of their self-esteem.
We have a responsibility as parents is to make them feel special and valuable to God and you. This will make them be a better, more well-behaved child and someone you will enjoy being around so much more. All kids want to feel accepted and loved.
To Do: Sit down with your spouse and write all the good qualities of each of your children. Read this often and use this list to start bragging on them more.
Family Time: While at the dinner table or during family time, go around the room and with the initials of each child and have everyone take one initial at a time to use a word that describes them. (EX: Susie is ‘s’ – sweet) Make it complimentary. It will surprise you what they come up with. We do this for birthdays and it is fun, uplifting and brings a lot of good laughs.
Time to Smile: A mom and 5 year old son were heading to McDonald’s. They passed a car accident. The mom usually stops and prays for those involved in accidents that they come across. She said, ”We should pray.” Her son in the backseat closes his eyes and she heard him say, “Dear God, please don’t let those cars block the entrance to McDonald’s.” (Don’t we love our kids?!)
Recommended Reading: Raising Children to be Roses or Weeds by Joy Haney
Previous Recap: Raising Your Child’s Self-Esteem. We began the study of the great importance of consistently lifting up our children with our positive words.