How to Build our Child's Self-Image

10:04 AM

Being a 10-year old parent, I am still on a learning process.  That is why, words from the experts matter to me.  I have two boys born consecutively, Marco and Ron, ten months apart.  They have an opposite character.  Marco, who’s a very dependent child, shows bigger expectations from others and from himself but he excels academically.  While Ron, is an average student, very adorable child, so easy to handle and loved by everyone. 

Handling them is not an easy task.  I am trying to practice responsible parenting for them to grow responsible, confident and resilient.

Setting realistic standards, focusing on their strengths, allowing to make decisions and encouraging mutual respect can promote genuine self-worth.  And those are my challenges being a parent.

I've learned that children with a genuine sense of self-worth are willing to participate in practically any activity, committed to achieving, confident, resourceful, relaxed, can manage stress, can tolerate frustration and has a good sense of humor.  And that's what I aim for my children.  Our children should develop good self-image because according to Ma. Isabel Sison-Dionisio author of Helping Our Children do Well in School,
"A good self-image is an important tool for successfully facing problems, issues and crises that arise in everyday life.  Self-image is central to how our child learns, achieves, works, socializes and loves.  Self-image is the key to the way our child treats himself and is treated by others."
Every parent can relate to my goal of promoting genuine self-worth for our kids.  That's why I am happy to share to you some ways to help our children on building their good image.

Ways to Build our Child’s Self-Image

1. Focus on your children’s assets and strengths.  See the positive.  Compliment your child in each of these areas: social skills, appearance, expressiveness, intelligence, coordination and cooperativeness.

Situation: Your 14-year old daughter shows you the blouse she chose from the department store.

Discouraging Answer: “Why didn’t you wait for me?  We could have bought a better-looking one more reasonable price!”

Encouraging Answer: “That is nice color and style.  Next time perhaps we can go shopping together when there is a sale, and you can even help me pick out some stuff.”

2.       Accept your children as they are.  Don’t show your love and acceptance dependent on their behavior.

Situation: Your 10-year old son received a lower grade in Math this quarter.

Discouraging Answer: “Why did that happen?!?? You studied very well and yet you got a lower grade.”

Encouraging Answer: “Everyone gets low grades from time to time.  But is there any way we can help you master the lesson?”

3.       Let your children know their worth.  Recognize improvement and effort, not just accomplishment.

Situation:  Your daughter offers help in your cooking.

Discouraging Answer: “ Oh,  I appreciate your willingness but it will be easier if I will do it alone.”

Encouraging Answer: “Oh yeah sure, cooking with you will be fun.  I believe you can do great in cooking.”

4.       Model positive behavior

Situation: You tell your children never to lie.  Then, while driving to school with your son, you were caught by the traffic enforcer due to beating the red light. 

Discouraging Action:  Then you explain to the enforcer, “Oh I’m sorry I did not notice it.” 

Encouraging Action:    “Oh, I’m sorry.  Here is my driver’s license.”

5. Avoid comparing brothers and sisters.  Respect the uniqueness of each child.

Situation:  Recognition of school accomplishment.

Discouraging Action:  Why can't you be an honor student like your kuya?

Encouraging Action: That's okey son, you are great in Music!

Building our children's self-image totally depend on how we treat them and how we express ourselves.  We should be mindful how we show ourselves to them.  Parenting books and advices from the experts are reminders for aligning our own attitude towards parenting.  

                                                                                        Let's keep exploring and learning!!

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