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How to teach children about self-esteem?

This is a question that as parents we usually ask ourselves. If it has happened to you, even if you still do not know the answer, you are on a very good path. Paying attention to the psychological field of children is the first step to take care of them and teach them to take care of themselves and thus they can build good self-esteem. Here we will share with you some tips so you can start teaching your children about self-esteem.

1. Recognize learning and context

In the first place, we must recognize everything that surrounds us, recognize self-esteem as a product and creator of the child’s reality. In other words, the first step is to identify the entire political, social and cultural context in which they find themselves. Although it sounds strange because obviously they are immersed in this and it can be difficult to analyze it because everything seems so natural or normal. The reality is that everything changes and nothing is a matter of nature. What is normal for you is not normal for someone from another era or social condition.

A large part of the problems in this area come precisely from all the existing social pressures, that is, everything that is expected of him or her. Start by considering what learning you have identified that it has and what it applies to your little ones, as well as all the expectations and pressures that are placed on him or her. It is not about disappearing them, but about the child being able to create his own expectations of her. You can start by making a list of the following areas: Gender learning; coping styles in the face of errors; how the child is treated and self-care habits; expectations that both you and other people place on him or her; stereotypes that she has access to and that she accepts; economic status, etc.

After identifying everything that your little one has internalized, proceed to ask him, where did he learn everything he knows or the way in which he relates to his world.

For example Gender learning: He thinks that children should not cry, this is because I have noticed that he avoids crying and says that nothing happened, even if he hits himself hard or hides because he is embarrassed to be seen with tears. He learned it from: his grandparents because they constantly repeat it to him. Although I have tried to convince my son that he should not put up with it, he does not listen to me.

Once you have established this, also ask yourself what of those ideas do you support inadvertently. Perhaps, going back to this example, you think that it is not good for him to hold back from crying, but on one occasion, he heard you say that he was brave when he avoids crying, which reinforced the behavior.

Once you establish these points, proceed to seek solutions to learning that are not beneficial. Going back to the gender example:

Possible solutions:

  1. Set limits to the grandparents, agreeing on the speech that will be given to the child.
  2. Talk to the child and analyze together if what he does makes him feel good or bad.
  3. Give him tools so that he learns to set limits and does not feel uncomfortable expressing himself.

2. Implement respectful parenting

With regard to establishing the context of the child, which you can reinforce in writing, we recommend that you do an analysis and guide you towards respectful parenting, not only without blows but also without profanity, jokes that, although they may be funny for adults, can be hurtful to them, unjustified punishments, that are related to your state of mind or that do not correspond to the action.

Example: Don’t take away his video games if he broke a vase; Rather, teach him that the idea is not to make him feel bad, but to take up his responsibility, so if he knocked over a vase, the ideal is to teach him to pick up the pieces, with all the security measures, of course, and to recognize why it happened and solutions to reduce the probability of it happening again.

3. Recognize skills and characteristics that they like.

For the little ones to learn to recognize everything that is pleasant to them about their person, it is necessary that you direct them to do so. Many times we focus more on what is missing than on what is there. We scold more than we admit, of course, it is not in all cases, but it is still beneficial to be given a specific time for this activity. You can set a schedule in the morning while looking in the mirror.

Point out everything he accomplished the day before, all the skills he has, and things he loves about himself. These affirmations will be a conscious and constant reminder of all that is worth. They can talk about the physical, their way of being, their activities.

Remember not to forget the issue of the assessment you have of your body, since body image, due to stereotypes, can cause deep sadness, since these are characteristics that cannot change and for which they are sometimes rejected. . Explore this topic well, you can use a mirror. Do not be afraid that after this it will no longer improve or later it will no longer want to recognize its opportunity zones. Rather, we will give them space for both aspects.

4. Recognize opportunity zones.

During the day also establish a time to talk about opportunity zones. Try not to name them as lack of ability or little capacity, because it seems that these words go down, if we call them opportunities, we have the opening to start doing something before them. Children constantly encounter disappointments in their day, discover that they cannot do various activities, or even that they are not pleasing to everyone’s eyes.

Opening a space where this is discussed will help you have excellent communication and that you can process the information hand in hand with an adult. Try not to give your opinion directly, rather guide the talk so that he or she alone creates answers as to why this happens and possible solutions. It is even very likely that when you do the previous exercise of recognizing their strengths, they will tell you about their weaknesses. So rather than ignore them, explore them. Example: “I don’t like my height, my classmates call me giraffe and they don’t play with me”, well let’s look for answers, talk in this case about the inheritance of the height, the advantages of it, the theory of why in your country it is more It’s common to be short. Find out why people refuse to be different. There are always ways to explain what happens. Give it a solution, talk to the children, about how, when, etc.

5. Teach him to set limits on others.

There will always be scenarios in which your child will feel uncomfortable, in which his value will be put at stake due to comments, which may or may not be hurtful, whether from people he cares about or from strangers. In order to help them so that the value that has cost him so much to build is not affected by others, the ideal is to show him first of all that what another says or thinks does not depend on him, but how he reacts to it. Show him that although it is not something personal, it is necessary to know how to set limits.

In order to do so, they can seek assertive rights, so as not to go over the rights of the other and in turn; then write an assertive sentence in a notebook with all the necessary elements and practice. Do not forget that the best way to communicate that we do not like something is by expressing it, we must remove that taboo that we can lose people if we do it, because the reality is that it helps you form relationships with good communication.

6. Use extra material.

In order to exemplify or even to introduce your little one to the subject of self-esteem, it will always be good to use alternative tools, such as stories or books for them, guides that allow you to understand these topics in greater depth, give you examples of activities and materials. As well as they can also make use of games so that they can address such an important topic in a dynamic and fun way.

We hope that these tips can help you teach your little one a little about self-esteem. At the same time, remember that there is no magic formula, each child is unique, so the most ideal thing is to do all kinds of activities that allow you to get to know them in-depth and begin to respond to them. Remember that you can always do it hand in hand with a professional.

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