I’d like to open this piece with an important quote from Robin Sharma. He said “Words can inspire. And words can destroy. Choose your words well.”
As a parent, how often have you chosen your words when talking to your child? At this point, have you realized how valuable it is to say the right words to your son and daughter? The right words can empower them, but what you must realize is that any wrong word can tear them down. The problem here is that not many parents realize how critical words are to a child’s self-esteem.
The Role Model
Do you know that you are your son’s or daughter’s role model? Ever since they were babies, they looked up to you. They imitated what you did. When you said “Say mama,” they tried to say it too. Growing up, they tried to emulate you. You can do no wrong in their eyes. For them, you are the ultimate role model.
With that said, your kids constantly seek your approval. They always want to do their best to get a compliment or a praise from you. Not giving them that affects their self-esteem.
As their role model, as their mother, as a parent, you have an obligation and responsibility to build your child’s self-esteem from the ground up. Empower them early on as this will avoid insecurities that they can carry on until adulthood, which is something you may be familiar with.
Don’t let insecurities tear your child’s heart down. Rather, help your child strengthen his heart, so he or she can face life with confidence and self-assurance. It is one of the priceless things you’ll impart to your child.
Ten Valuable Tips to Empower Your Child
So, how do you do this exactly? How can you achieve that balance when praising or disciplining your child? How can your child grow up confident and knows himself very well? Here’s ten tips you can start with:
9 Work on Yourself
To be able to empower your child, you should show and exude empowerment too. If you have lingering insecurities and believe that this doesn’t affect your family or your children, you’re dead wrong. Insecurities leave a trail of stench. Your loved ones can smell it a mile away.
Help yourself, so you can help your kids. The great thing here is that you can both take the journey together. While empowering your child, you are also working on your own heart. At the end of the road, both of you will feel more empowered together.
Nevertheless, do be mindful that you are always in the driver’s seat in this journey. Your child takes the lead from you.
8 Walk the Talk
This is exactly why I advise you to work on yourself in the first tip, because if you’re a mess to start with, you can’t really practice what you preach right?
When helping your child boost his or her self-confidence, you must be a mirror to them. You must be a reflection of self-confidence and empowerment. Kids follow by clear example, and once they see it in you, they’d understand better why being self-confident is so important.
7 Plan Play Times
It is highly important that you set aside time to play with your kids. If you’re too busy with work or whatever it is you’re doing, your child can easily get the idea that they’re not worthy of your time… that you’d actually spend more time doing other things than playing with them. Naturally, they will feel bad.
Play time equates to quality time. Kids understand simple things. If you play with them, it means you love them, that’s how kids are. Your kids shouldn’t feel bad and feel unworthy of your time as this can really dampen their spirits and lower self-esteem.
Imagine what you will feel if your husband would prefer playing video games or watch TV, as oppose to spending time with you and the kids? That is how your child feels.
6 Teach them Success and Failure
As some would say, success is subjective and this is what you should follow. For you, success is earning a high salary or getting promoted. For your kid, success is drawing a house or finishing his plate. Teach your kid the value of success and the importance of achieving that success. In every case, the climb up is what always matters.
Additionally, praise or compliment your child once a goal is achieved. Talk to your child about attaining other goals and why it is important to always have a goal in mind.
In the process of doing that, don’t protect your child from failure. Shielding them is selfish. You shield them from failure because you cannot handle seeing them fall. Know that your child can succeed… because you are there to help them. Let them come to know that “It is okay to fail, because mom got my back!”
5 Compliment Appropriately
True, complimenting your child for a job well done or a new goal achieved is important. However, you must strike a balance between right praising and over praising.
If your child has overcome a challenge, one which he or she hasn’t done before, that calls for a compliment. On the other hand, if your child has overcome a challenge over and over again, like maybe, washing his own plate, the compliment should take the back seat. Instead of saying “Good job,” just say “Thank you for helping mom, I appreciate it.”
Anything in excess isn’t good, this is the same case with over praising. When you over compliment your child, your building him or her up for complacency and this is not very good for one’s self-esteem at all. There’s no urge to be better. Hence, there’s no improving one’s self too.
4 Teach the Value of Family
When talking to adults who have lingering insecurities, I always come to know that these insecurities come from their childhood. And more than that, the insecurities worsen because of the lack of family bonding and communication.
Right now, you need to teach your child to value your family as a unit—a supportive unit for each other. The best way to teach them this is to show them. Show them that your home is the safest place on Earth. It is a place that will not judge them in whatever mistake they make. It is a place that they can be themselves without feeling peer pressure. Show them that each member of the family has a role to play in your supportive unit.
Once your child feels that he or she is loved, completely accepted and appreciated in one’s home, the heart closes its doors to insecurities. This, in itself, will empower your child greatly, particularly in the moment he or she steps out of your home. It is simply because your child knows that at the end of the day, he or she has a safe haven come home to.
3 Assign Responsibilities
Assigning your child responsibilities is another way to build self-esteem. If a child feels he or she is responsible, that child will feel more empowered. They start to think “Wow! I can actually do it!” or “I’m proud I was able to do it.”
When your child feels proud of himself, of the accomplishment he or she has achieved, it boosts the child’s confidence. That even though they are children, they can actually be responsible. Moreover, they’ll feel proud knowing that you trust them enough with a responsibility. And they will do what they can to not let you down.
2 Open Communication Lines
A confident child can talk to you about anything. But for your child to be able to express his feelings fully, the communication lines must be open.
As a mom, you’ll know if there’s something wrong or if something is bothering your child. Try to find a way to get them to talk. Ask questions or just ask them what’s wrong. Make them feel secure in telling you their problem. Make them feel that when they do tell you, you’d be there to help them.
If they see you giving time to talk to them and knowing their problem, it immediately gives them a confidence boost. “Mom actually bothers to know what I’m thinking” and that makes them empowered kids.
1 Support Them
So, you know that your child will do fantastic as a swimmer. However, your child wants to be a baseball player instead. Support them.
Parents usually have this feeling of superiority that they always know better and they know best. What you must realize is that your kid has a mind of his own too. Your child will develop his own interests, hobbies and the things he wants to do. This is something you should respect.
Respect is something we always expect our kids to give. But admittedly, sometimes, we fail to give it back to them. When we cut them out while they’re speaking, that is disrespectful to them. When you ask them to do what they don’t want (unless it’s a household chore), they feel disrespected. Just turn the tables, you’d know how it feels.
When you respect your child, it makes them feel valuable, like they have earned your unachievable respect. Don’t hold it back from them. Being respected is empowering.