Self-Esteem matters! If this were your child or a child you care about, how would you handle things with him? Well, I don’t have kids but I sure know about them and I know how kids like this often become targets of bullying.
If you ask yourself what do you want for him or her? Be realistic okay? If your kid is short, he won’t usually become tall overnight. If he wears glasses or needs some other type of assistance, that isn’t likely to change. There isn’t any point in telling a kid that he or she is perfect because they know differently. What’s important is to do things that help a child believe in himself or herself. Their self-esteem matters and kids need to understand that the way they think about themselves is the same way that others think about them.
If you look at the picture above, you see a kid who is facing two potential bullies. Instead of the boy showing them a fearful and easily bullied kid, he is facing them and saying “Hi.” Why? Because he has a realistic knowledge of who he is and what he is about. He may not be the most popular or the most athletic or the best looking but he is who he is! He likes himself and others see that. When kids like themselves the world sees them differently!
Spend some time where parents and kids gather. You’ll hear all kinds of comments from parents like, “You were wonderful. You did the best. No one else did as well as you did.” That seems like a good thing… right?
New studies are showing that exaggerated or overstated praise can back fire especially with children with low self-esteem. What the studies found was that kids with low self-esteem were more likely to choose easier tasks after they received inflated statements of praise. Often they will be afraid of failure because so much is expected of them. The opposite is true when parents say things like, “You worked hard.”
…Researchers often refer to this constructive encouragement as process praise. Letting the child know exactly what they are doing well and noticing the detail of their work is critical. Trading ambiguous praise for detail-oriented questions lets the child know that their work is interest-worthy. When children are explicitly told what they are doing right (e.g. “good job at cleaning up the blocks”), it’s more effective in changing future behaviors and promoting improved effort. *
Maybe it’s time to think about how you praise your child!
What if you knew the secret to building children’s self-esteem? You could change the world s of all of the children who suffer from poor self-esteem. You could bully-proof children who have been targeted by bullies. You could help children be more successful in life!
Here’s the thing and I get it. I do know the secret to building children’s self-esteem and it starts when kids are little. You may be thinking, “What does a dog know?” Well, I’ll tell you. If you want to help little kids understand that they should be respected and valued, you need to help them understand that everyone is different and that’s okay. They need to understand that being different isn’t a bad thing. In fact being different can be a very good thing. But you need to do it in a fun way and that’s where I come in.
Building Children’s Self-Esteem
Kids love animals especially dogs. I love kids and kids listen to me because I think the same way that they think. I just have more personal experiences that taught me a lot! Plus, I don’t lecture them! We all know that kids tune out when they get lectured… right? They also tune out when parents tell them how wonderful they are at everything they do and say… every minute of every day.
Look at the picture above. What do you see? Maybe you will say, “I see the reflection of a happy kid and yours truly smiling.” Well look again! Look at the back of the boy looking at the reflection. He is small. His shoulders are down and his hands are down. He isn’t anything like his reflection. He sees himself quite differently because we both talked. We both listened. We both learned about each other and then he began to get my message. He understood what I meant about building children’s self-esteem. He understood how to begin to build his own self esteem.
Look at the second picture. When we first got together, that is what his reflection looked like. He was sad and he had been bullied. He didn’t see himself as special or of value.
He told me that his parents tell him all the time that he is handsome and talented and that kids will figure that out. Then he told me that he doesn’t believe his parents because they complement him all the time. He told me that they never tell him anything except how perfect he is. He was confused because he heard one thing at home and something different at school.
To be continued.