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.
As most of you know, we have heroes here. We share their stories with you because in different ways, they embrace their differences and that is what it is all about. The hero that is our pick for the day and probably the year has done something courageous and worth praise…big time!
This hero is not blind or disabled. He has had an amazing career. He has a wonderful and sensitive mother and is quite successful. Sure, he has experienced great sadness. He lost his brother to suicide at a young age and that changed his life. He has placed himself in grave danger all over the world to share the news with us.
On a lighter note, he is a very picky eater. Who could eat the same meal at Boston Market every day for that long? Who would actually admit that he does not enjoy eating and would be happy to take a pill for nourishment if he could? LOL!
The man is human and he has gained our respect. In fact, that was all he gained until today. Today he epitomized integrity, courage, self-worth and confidence. In spite of what the media might say and in spite of what critics might say, he shared something with the world that was more than personal. The best part of what he did today was that he offered the information. It was not demanded. He wasn’t required to share his personal life. He wasn’t caught! He shared it because he didn’t want to appear to be ashamed of his difference any longer. What courage!
Kudos to Anderson Cooper! He is our hero because he told the world that he is gay and that he always has been gay and always will be be gay! He is not our hero because he is gay. He is our hero because he had the courage to share that fact with the world. He set an example for everyone that integrity, honor and courage are attributes that should be respected and replicated.
Anderson Cooper, hopefully you will help the many young men and women who struggle with their sexuality. Maybe a life will be saved because of your courage. You are exactly what everyone should have the integrity to be…honest and proud in embracing their differences!
Photo: Terry Ballard