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Parenting today

Parenting today: 8 practical recommended ways parents can raise self-esteem in children

Parenting is a calling to raise nations. Every child/ person under your care represents a peculiar community of people.  Everyone has a parent, not necessarily through biological relations. Parenting today is not like before. The world is dynamic…….the world where your children find themselves in. You’ve got to be close, yet far sometimes.

External circumstances play a great role in the growth and development of children, right from the womb to the newborn stage through infancy. Speaking life and positivity into the lives of your children is a great place to begin.

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They become viable seeds destined to bear good fruits. Even the Good Book says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it”. I bet you’d want to see them maximizing their potential and becoming the best versions of themselves.

If you were brought up in a dysfunctional home or had a traumatic childhood, you should know better than to end the cycle with you. If you need someone to talk to, do so, just do not pass on any toxic culture to your children. Break the cycle!

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What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem is how confident a person is about his/her value or worth. A child who knows who he/she is, is not easily intimidated and especially when he/she has supportive parents.

Children with low self-esteem grow into adults with low self-esteem unless the issue of low self-esteem is addressed.

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Characteristics of children with low and high self-esteem

Low self-esteem in children does not just happen. In the formative years of children, perhaps 0-8 years, they pick up a lot of signals mostly by judging from the character of their parents. This is why parenting should be a conscious effort, and not just pumping them with food. Their mental, emotional and psychological development is key.

Low self esteem

Low self-esteem High self-esteem
Define themselves by the mistakes they make Acknowledge their mistakes and try again anyway
Think their friends are better than them because their parents constantly compare them to their friends and even siblings Always ready to learn new things
Difficult to see and accept anything good about themselves Are guided to know their strengths and weaknesses
Scared to take initiative, lack confidence May not even realize it when they take initiative, they are bold, even if they’re wrong
May be teased or bullied often Not easily intimidated
Blame themselves for every bad situation Are reassured of the love of their parents
Broken homes: Hurt and bitterness from divorce/separation is passed on to them (Abusive parent (s)) No matter the situation at home, parent (s) explain and prepare them psychologically in ways they can understand
Perception of love is negative, toxic Perception of love is healthy and evident at home
Easily influenced by peer pressure. Will do anything to be accepted as “cool” Easily influences others positively. Will not mind not being “cool” but continue to be outstanding in whatever they do
Constantly lies to get out of trouble/ to feel safe Usually tells the truth because they are confident in the love their parents have for them
Are constantly depressed and unhappy. May even have suicidal thoughts. Are content in who they are
A once bubbly child could become timid /withdrawn with time or vice versa They would easily open up when there’s a sudden change in outlook

READ MORE: How childhood trauma affects health over a lifetime

Parenting today: Styles you can use

At every stage of the development of children, parenting styles are important. It is however crucial to understand when to apply which style to each child to bring out the best in them because every child is different and may not require the same approach.

Parenting style Characteristics
Authoritative Reasons with the child

High expectations

Sets rules and openly communicates their consequences

Authoritarian Is strict and sets punishments for each “crime”

Does not consider the input of the children

Children only obey

Permissive/laissez-faire Do not set or enforce rules or boundaries

Do not say “no” to children for fear of making them sad or disappointed

Uninvolved Indifferent toward their children’s behaviour

Uninvolved or absent from their children’s lives

READ MORE: How parenting styles affect the outlook of children

 

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8 ways parents can raise the self-esteem of their children

Consider these points in boosting the self-esteem of your children as responsible parents.

  1. Be a good role model.

Be a good role model

You can’t tell the child to be happy when you’re always sad. They might misinterpret a gloomy face to be happy, or a beating to mean love. Stand up for yourself, be courageous in the face of adversity and encourage them to do so. You might not have had anyone to look up to growing up and it might not have been your fault, but you now have the chance to make it better for your children.

You can’t let them down. I reckon that people react differently to different situations, and a bad situation may force growth/positive change in the behaviour of a child, but there’s always a price to pay. Lighten the burden, reduce the bridges to be crossed and change the narrative of your generation.

  1. Teach them in the initial stages, then step back.

Parenting today     Learning to ride a bicycle

There’s always a first time for everything. Learning to walk, and ride a bicycle is perfected gradually. When you teach them a few times, encourage them to pick up and initiate their own fun activities.

  1. Give them responsibilities.

Give them responsibilities

At a certain stage, children like to also do house chores, and take care of their little siblings. Indulge them. Let them clean their toys, make a sandwich and feed their little siblings or toys and seize the chance to connect with them and others.

  1. Praise them for good work done.

Gifts or sweets should not always be rewards for good behaviour or good work done, but simple manners of saying, “thank you”, “great job”, “you’re amazing”, and “we’re proud of you”.

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  1. Allow them to make their own choices, and fail along the way.

This one can be heart-wrenching! You don’t want them to make a grave mistake that will hunt them for the rest of their lives. Allowing them to make their own choices sometimes and failing teaches them that there’s something called “risk” in this world and that you won’t always be right or successful the first time. They could start with simple things like choosing their own clothes, and joining the debate team when they insist, though they may not so good at debating. A time will come when they will be weaned and responsible for their actions.

  1. Teach them how to deal with failure.

Parenting today can be tough! When that happens, let them know that it is okay to not succeed the first time, but that is not the end. It is rather a stepping stone for a comeback, not depression. The success stories are in the failures, not outright success.

  1. Correct them based on what you expected them to do.

Some parents just say, “stop this, or that” but fail to let them know what they should’ve done instead. When that happens, the child needs to figure out the right thing to do, which may even be worse.

  1. Help them identify areas where they perform well in and other areas where they need to improve.

The talents and skills of many children may be evident in their formative years. If they’re good at singing, get them a karaoke set or help them practice for a child singing contest. If it’s math, practice more advanced problems with them daily. If they exhibit leadership skills, put them in charge of the dog, for a start, lol.

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Parenting today has to be customized to the child or person in question, but the basics remain. Whether single parenting or co-parenting, assure the child or children that they can count on you, and fulfil it. Good parenting is not totally about making the road smooth for your children. Mistakes are essential for growth, the extent of the mistake however can be destructive, and that is where they need you the most. Guide them to become who they’re destined to be, and never cease praying for them to grow in grace.

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A believer, freelance writer, and kingdom blogger. I believe in bringing out the best in who God has made you be.

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