When a mother eagle wants her baby to fly, she waits until her eaglet is 80% of his adult size. Then she sets him on the edge of the nest and pushes him off into the wild blue. She watches her baby bird free-fall, then swoops down just in time to catch him on her wings. This exercise is repeated over and over until the baby eaglet learns to fly. By doing this, her baby’s confidence (and self-esteem, if eagles had such a thing) grows. Imagine if she was overly protective. Her eaglet would never learn to fly; he’d never mature. – James Dobson
We have been studying ways to build our child’s healthy self-esteem. We want to teach them how to deal with life more than just protecting them from others. It is our responsibility to send our offspring out in this world when they are grown. When that time comes, we want to send them out loving who they are and what they have become thus far.
We have learned that when a child feels acceptance at home, he will not require it from peers. They have been raised to understand that “in this family” you are special and “in this family” you are valuable.
In Have a New Kid by Friday, Dr. Leman tells a story about 15-year-old Melissa who was approached and offered a cigarette. Because she had a strong sense of belonging within her family, she didn’t need the cigarette and replied, “No thanks. We Crayburns don’t smoke.”
If we kiss our kids good-bye and send them off to college, we could be sending them to the lion’s den to be devoured, IF we have not first built up their self-esteem to where they will lead the crowd in a good way and not follow others down a road of disaster.
Let’s discuss the number one way to be certain your child will feel good about themselves and go through life with their head held high. It’s typically not the self-confident kids that commit suicide, start the drug habit, hang around the wrong crowds or self destruct. We can definitely control the atmosphere in our homes, but once that child walks out our door to school or to play with friends, we don’t know what will be said or done to bring them down. So… the secret to them not only surviving this world, but enjoying life is for them to walk out that door and know just how valuable they are!
Since this is a Christian based blog, I am assuming you know Christ and believe His words written to us. The best way to help your child know who they are would be to help them understand that they are VERY important and VERY valuable to God.
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7 NIV
Read them this scripture over and over again and help them to memorize it. They must be convinced that if a little sparrow is important to God, that He holds them at much value. The secret is to instill in your children that the main one they want to please is God and the main one that counts as far as getting recognition in this life is God. He is the one that really matters first and foremost.
Bottom line, they need to get their self-worth from the Lord and not from peers. That way they will never be discouraged or feel inadequate because Jesus will always be there for them, always love them and bless them for making right choices.
We must teach our kids that God is the #1 source for obtaining our self-worth.
Stop and think how this would solve so much in a kid’s life. When they are made fun of or don’t seem to sing as good as others, aren’t as smart as others, dress as good as others, or don’t get the attention others get… all is still fine. As long as they know that God is pleased with them and that they are super valuable to Him, they will live a content life in who they are. They won’t spend their time trying to please others. I have told kids many times that they’re a winner if they are pleasing God. They’ll be pleasing their parents by pleasing God, so it’s a win-win!!!
To Do: Make it a consistent topic around your home: We are important to God and pleasing Him is what matters. Get their ideas on what makes them important and how God looks at them. Instill in them that eternity is much more important than this short life and that what God thinks of them should be first and foremost.
Family Time: Take advantage of the remaining warmer days of the season. A trail adventure would be a great time for the whole family. Your kids AND you deserve a break… just do it!
Time to Smile: Nothing seemed to dim this 13 year old boy’s sense of humor… Shortly after he was diagnosed with ADHD, he threw this at his dad. “Hey, Dad – how many ADHD children does it take to change a light bulb?” “I give up” his dad said. His son replied, “Let’s go ride our bikes.”
Recommended Reading: Read Psalm 139:1-18 over and over again to your children. If they are older, you can give them the assignment to read it until it is embedded in their being. They must be convinced that they are valuable to God and He is the one that matters most.
Previous Recap: Raising Your Child’s Self-Esteem (Part 4)