Teaching Children to Have Self Esteem

While it is true that life can dish out some unfair circumstances, we do not need to “prepare” our children for this by treating them unjustly.

Children and teenagers are very aware and sensitive about fairness. It is emotionally and psychologically painful to them to be treated in ways that are unjust.

They need to be heard and validated. If we are to teach them to have integrity and to treat other people fairly, we need to do the same with them.

Children and teenagers do not learn by what we say, as much as they learn from what we do. Our actions are far more powerful that our words.

Children learn what they see and what they experience.

They should have a chance to tell their side of things and to talk about their feelings. We cannot teach them that our legal system offers a fair trial and then turn around and punish them without hearing them out.

Let us treat our children that they matter. Their integrity and self esteem matters.

This is the way they can learn to set boundaries with other people.

They can learn how to explain how they feel about things and why they feel that way.

If a situation arrises that the child will experience consequences then they should understand what is happening and why.  Those consequences should be equal to their behavior and not overblowing what actually happened.

Teachers that punish an entire class of students, for the bad behavior of 1 or 2 students, are not teaching the children that they are individuals with individual rights.

Sometimes there are unavoidable consequences for a child due to something their sibling or their classmate did, but consequences should not be inflicted upon innocent bystanders just to exercise control or to make a point.

Children need to grow up in a safe emotional and psychological environment.

Imagine if you were at work and forced to do overtime without pay, all because of a disruptive co-worker who slowed down the progress of the workday.

You would feel angry and mistreated. How would this affect your feelings about the supervisor that made you work extra hours with no pay?

How would this affect your overall morale?

There is an old saying that you may have seen on an office poster….

“Until morale improves…the beatings will continue..”

You cannot punish people into wanting to behave better. Children and teenagers are people and they need to be able to trust their environment.

This will allow them to blossom and learn. A benevolent and just environment will allow children.  To feel valued as individuals.

The ability to express one’s emotions and thoughts is a learned skill. To be able to present your side of a situation in a logical and understandable manner is a critical life skill.

Let us hear our children and teenagers out. Teach them respect of others and respect for themselves.

Let us celebrate the young minds and remember that those minds can tell when they are treated unjustly.

There is a psychological consequence for every negative experience and there are associations wired into the brain im regards to repeated experiences.

If we want the respect of our children, we need to treat them with compassion and empathy, as best as we can. There is no rule that says the adult cannot apologize if you make a mistake.

It shows the child that you respect them when you admit when you are wrong. It teaches them that everyone makes mistakes.

When you forgive your children for their mistakes they will learn to forgive you for yours. This will help to build their self esteem.

Self esteem is critical for survival. If we bring up children to be adults that cannot self-generate self esteem then they will be targets for predators and abusers.

Children and teenagers that learn to express their feelings and expain their side of things will be better equipped to deal with the people they meet as adults.

 

Be Yourself Believe in Yourself

you are the person you say you are

Facebook post by my Daughter about Not Attaching Your Self Esteem to the Comments or Lack their Of / Cyberbullying and Our Children

The post below is by my youngest  daughter. She gave me permission to post it here on wordpress. I thought it was insightful and a very interesting perspective from a young person about the internet. Our children are very connected with the social media and their self esteem is directly linked  what goes on between their internet  “friends”  and followers.

Facebook is a social media that involves short burst types of posts and posting of photos and some artwork.  Many of the people on facebook are superficial and also status quo oriented. Posting very meaningful things does not always get the response you want, unless you are in a closed group on facebook, specializing in mental illness or abuse.

My daughter has learned that facebook is not the best place to use for a self esteem meter.

She also posts artwork and writings on deviantart which is a better place for meaningful and inspired types of work. She gets more intelligent feedback there. You can post things on deviantart like drawings, computer generated art  story writing and poetry.

I am very proud of her for making the observations which you will see below. I am proud of her that she has been able to evaluate the shortcomings of facebook and does not attach her self esteem to the responses she gets from the people on facebook.

Our children must learn to deal with criticism and stupid comments on the internet. They also have to deal with bullying in an internet world, that we did not grow up with.  The children and teenagers can have harmful mental damage done to them by cyber-bullying and inappropriate comments.

Our children can end up with mental illness (depression, severe anxiety, suicidal ideations) over the interactions on the internet.

They have to learn that every comment is not true or worth taking to heart. Also that lack of comments on something they post, does not mean that they are not important.

Please enjoy her post and comment anything below that you would like me to convey to her.

(sorry if this post offends anyone im just kinda joking around though it is also kinda true)

~facebook logic~

* someone makes a meaningful post/shares meaningful thing, post gets ignored*

* someone makes a  stupid post, gets tons of comments*

*good artist uploads an art piece, is told they suck and the only person who comments anything nice is person’s boyfriend*

*bad artist uploads art piece, is told they should be an animator and is the best artist ever*

*someone uploads something intelligent, is told they are stupid*

*someone uploads something super idiotic, is told they are the next Albert Einstein*

Students Against Depression

http://studentsagainstdepression.org/

This is a link to the students against depression web site. I looked over the site and it seems like a good resource for  teens and young adults  with depression and / or suicidal thoughts.

The materials and resources are written by mental health care professionals. The site was intended for college students but I think there might be material that would be helpful for all ages.

Some of the pages of the website are:

There is a workbook that is both viewable online or printable. The modules are entitles as follows.
1. Make a Safety Plan
2. Build Your Support Network
3. Self Help First Steps
4. Healthier Daily Routines
5. Understanding Your Depression
6. Skills for Living Well
7. See Depression Differently
8. Make a Difference
9. Write your “Overcome Depression” Story
The site is well done and it is just another resource to be aware of, especially if you have a loved one who is between the ages of 15 and 25 experiencing depression.

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