child development, Child's Education

Learn from Your Mistakes and so will Your Child

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Everyone makes mistakes. Granted, some mistakes are more significant than others and harder to get over, but they are a part of life. How individuals deal with those mistakes is significant to their self-esteem.  Children who are taught from an early age to admit to their mistakes understand that it’s not a crime to make one, and they seem to have the ability to cope much better with them.  They recognize that a mistake was made and admit the error. Most importantly, these children also develop a strategy to change the mistake and not do the same thing again.

The process of making and learning from mistakes is an extremely valuable life skill for everyone because learning involves risking. Every time children risk, they will not always succeed.  But they tried something new and most likely learned from it as a result.

Children with low self-esteem deal with making a mistake quite differently. More often than not, these children use the experience to devalue themselves. Instead of looking at the error as an opportunity to learn, these children interpret the experience as a reason to quit and never try again. They view it as a devaluing and humiliating experience.

You can help your child cope with mistakes by first making sure they understand that everyone makes mistakes, even you.  Own up to your own mistakes to teach them there’s no shame in making them. Make sure they understand that it’s okay to make mistakes.  This presents a great opportunity to tell your child what you’ve learned to do differently the next time.  Then, offer strategies to turn mistakes into learning opportunities. In the process, you can provide your child with an opportunity to enhance their self-esteem and accept responsibility for the mistakes they make. Help your child to realize that the mistake is the problem, and not them.  Then help them develop a positive plan for the next time around, and what they’ll do differently the next time to avoid making the same mistake again.

 

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Encourage your Child to Feel Important

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It’s imperative for a child’s healthy development to feel important and worthy.  Healthy self-esteem is a child’s armor against the challenges of the world. Kids who feel good about themselves seem to have an easier time handling conflicts and resisting negative pressures. They tend to smile more readily and enjoy life. These kids are realistic and generally optimistic.  It’s also been shown that children who feel important are well-rounded, respectful, and excel in academics, extracurricular activities and hobbies and develop healthy relationships with their peers.

In contrast, for children who do not feel important or cherished have low self-esteem, and challenges can become sources of major anxiety and frustration. Children who think poorly of themselves have a hard time finding solving problems, and may become passive, withdrawn, or depressed.

You are the biggest influence on your child feeling important, valued and worthy.  Remember to praise your child for a job well done, and also for putting for a valiant effort.  Praise the good traits they naturally possess, and help them find ways to learn from their mistakes and failures.  Be honest and sincere in your praise.  Help them realize that you also suffer from self doubt and can make mistakes from time to time, but that you know that you are important, valued and loved.  When you nurture your own self -esteem and importance, your child will learn to do the same, so be sure to lead by example and steer clear of self-depreciating yourself or engaging in activities that lower your self-worth or importance.

Your child may have inaccurate or irrational beliefs about themselves, their abilities or their traits.  Accentuate the positive about your child, and encourage your child to set realistic expectations and standards for themselves.  Help them identify traits or skills they’d like to improve and help them come up with a game plan for accomplishing that goal. Encourage your child to become involved in cooperative activities that foster a sense of teamwork and accomplishment.

Through these and other positive, affirming activities, your child is sure to develop a strong sense of self importance, value and worth which will carry into their adult years.

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Constructing Your Child’s Healthy Sense of Self Esteem

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Your child’s self esteem is their mental foundation. A self-assured child is confident, secure, happy, well-adjusted and successful. They can solve problems that come their way, and it thrives under a loving parent’s nurturing care.

What are some good ways to built self esteem in your child?

Most importantly, accept your child for who they are, and help them do the same. Teach your child that nobody is perfect, and that everyone makes mistakes. Show them how to learn and grow from their mistakes, and let them know that you also make mistakes.   Children with high self esteem are able to take lessons from mistakes and apply them down the road.  A child with low self esteem become frustrated and resort to self-depreciating behavior, such as calling themselves ‘stupid’ and vowing to ‘never try that again.’

Help your child discover their abilities and talents, and encourage outlets for them to build on and improve them.  Praise a child not only for improvements in abilities and skills, but also for the traits they naturally possess.

Encourage your child to make positive choices.  Open an honest dialog with your child and discuss the possibilities with them.  Children who learn skills for making positive choices when they are younger are well-prepared for the tougher choices they have to make when they are older.

Ensure that you spend lots of quality time with your child, at least once a week. Whether you are shooting baskets or going out to grab a hamburger, take time to talk and keep in touch.  If you find it difficult to squeeze in quality time during a hectic week, take the time to talk about things during the drive to school or while they are helping you put the groceries away.

 

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Building Your Child’s Self Esteem

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It’s often been said that children learn what they live.  So if you’re looking for a place to start helping your child build positive self esteem and self value, then you should show them your positive sense of self and strong self esteem.  Be positive when you speak about yourself and highlight your strengths. This will teach your child that it’s okay to be proud of their talents, skills and abilities.

Your child also benefits greatly from honest and positive praise.  Find something about them to praise each day.  You could even give your child a task you know they can complete and then praise them for a job well done after they’re finished. Show your child that positive acts merit positive praise.

When your child’s feeling sad, angry or depressed, communicate openly, honestly and patiently with them. Listen to them without judging or criticizing.  They may not fully understand why they feel the way they do, so the opportunity to communicate with you about it may be what’s needed to help them sort through a difficult situation.  Suggest positive behaviors and options as solutions, and make sure to leave that door of communication open so they know the next time they feel bad, they can come to you for help and know that you won’t judge or punish them for how they’re feeling.

Teach your child the importance of setting goals and developing a plan to meet that goal and complete that task.  Small projects are the best to start off with in the beginning.  Ensure that it’s an appropriate task for your child, and not too complex.  Don’t only give praise at the end of the project, but praise their accomplishments during the project as well.

Most importantly, tell your child “I love you” each and every day – many times throughout the day, in fact. 

When they’ve behaved badly, remind yourself that it’s not them you don’t like, only their behavior.  Tuck short, sweet notes in their lunchboxes or coat pockets, or even send them a card in the mail.  Soon, they’ll learn to say “I love you” just as easily and honestly in return.