By helping your child practice self-love you are giving them one of lives greatest gifts. Below i have shared tips on how to help your child practice self-love. I’ve also included the parenting traps that can seriously effect your childs confidence
For all you parents out there, have you ever had a child who has got in such an emotional state that they have become negative towards themselves?
As our son turned 5 and now approaching 7, he is becoming more and more emotionally intelligent towards his surroundings which have led to him being praised by his teachers and coaches for that positive trait towards his peers.
With most young boys they can be quite boisterous. At times, I was called Dennis the Menace (The film version) when I was his age. They are always pushing boundaries with their speech and actions which can sometimes leads them into trouble. I remember when I was a young kid. I was round my Nan’s (Grandma to those who are not from the UK) and I must have been showing off and I can recall I had a great time but when I got in the car on the way home. My dad who was normally a quiet man was not happy at all and I got the biggest telling off ever! I was shocked, sad and scared, from a young kids point of view all I was having was a good time.
Becoming a father
Now as a father I have noticed some habits from childhood has seeped into my adult life.When I preserve my son as misbehaving I raise my voice and tell him off and of course with any young boy from their father he gets upset from time to time. What has worried me the most when he’s being emotional is words like “i’m not good enough” “I’m a naughty boy” or “I don’t deserve anything”
These words saddened me to my core. I thought I was instilling discipline – which I was but in a negative way. Growing up I was shouted at and smacked which most people my age and older would have had done to them but in my life, there has been a lot of self-loathing at times and as we know it comes from your surroundings that these thoughts are formed. Was history repeating itself? Will my son grow up to have these negative habits? Will he resent me for this?
As parents, you get these thoughts running through your brain because of course we just want the best for them and our actions are normally geared in that direction. For me, my actions weren’t good enough so I got to researching and planning and below are my action steps to help children have a life of self-love.
Parenting Tips How To Help Your Child Practice Self-Love
1. We As Parents Must Review Our Actions
If we want to be the best parents for our children we must know we will make mistakes along the way. I know I have. It’s important to always reflect on your actions. Whether the discipline you gave them was a bit harsh or the advice you gave them was from a place of fear. Don’t feel guilty or that you’re a bad parent. Just change your actions then they mirror you on your behaviour and will change how they behave / react to things.
2. We Must Not Raise Our Voice Or Hands In Anger
Growing up when it came to being disciplined, I was shouted at and the hand was raised. Has it had a dramatic effect on my life, not really. Did it keep me disciplined to do what my parents said? No.
I rebelled and did my own thing. I have seen myself shouting at my son out of frustration and guess what, he will make the same mistakes again but when I explain to him the reason behind why he should do it in a calm manner he responds best to that. As do I.
You may already know, but if you don’t… The old ways of how our parents raised us no longer works as things have progressed. Punishing children out of anger and fear has the opposite effect and it’ll eventually affect them in many different ways. Talk to your children and educate them instead. After all, they are only innocent beings.
3. We Must Show By Example
We can’t teach our children self-love if we are living the self-hate game. As your child will pick up on this and practice it too. If you want your child to love themselves. You must love yourself first.
4. We Must Talk And Educate Them
For them to understand the benefits of self-love we must educate them. It could be through seeing your own experience, a friend or you could show them a YouTube video. It can be anything. Once they understand why this is important. Then they will practice it daily instead of it feeling like it’s a chore, and another thing that the parents want them to do.
5. We Must Listen Out For The Enemy
It’s very important to listen out for any self-harming words that they might say to themselves, and then must realise what they said and why they said those harmful words. We have done a list in our house were certain words are like swear words and we have made a game out of it. This helps them know which words are self-harming and also helps them catch themselves out which is super important as they grow older.
How to help your child practice self-love
1. Personally Designed Self-Love Cards
Creating self love / affirmation cards with your child is an amazing experience. You can create anything you want and it creates a real meaning that the child can get engaged in. Practice this upon awakening and before bed. By doing that, you are giving your child the tools to speak good energy into their conscious and subconscious mind. with your child their self-love cards is an amazing experience.
2. Learn The Tools To Deal With Negative Feelings
As children grow they discover their emotions just like superman discovering he has superpowers. It can be a challenge. A real simple exercise to get your child back in a balanced state is breathing. Teaching your children when they get too down or too high to breathe and gain back control. A great way to apply this throughout your day is to teach your child meditation, yoga or breathing exercises. This will give them the tools as they grow older to understand and control it.
3. A Journal For Just Their Emotions
Authors like William Shakespeare and J.K Rowing have transformed their words onto paper where it has connected to the reader on an emotional level.
They have changed the way we think and given us many amazing experiences within our imagination. Look at journaling like filing for the brain. Just like talking, putting your problem and your successes on paper can give you inner peace and creative thoughts. This will also give your child an amazing tool. Especially, to deal with any emotion independently.
4. Victory list
Emotions that can affect our self-esteem are negative. For instance, when a child doesn’t meet the expectation we put on them as parents or teachers we can come down hard on our children. How many times do you use the same energy to boost them back up? (That’s a question only you can answer.) Don’t worry if this is you, it was me too.
Most importantly we created a victory list for our son to fill in of his past success in his life and his daily success. It could be trivial as brushing his teeth without asking, to score the winning goal in his football. After that hen we saw him achieve success we went over the top to praise him. The self-confidence that came from this was breathtaking. This tool now can be used for the rest of his life. Teach your child to celebrate their success over their failures and you will have a self-loving child.
5. Making Any Negative Self-Talk Into A Fun Game Of Slaying The Dragon
With children, you have to make everything fun and engaging. As adults, we seem to lose this trait when it also works with our inner child as an adult.
When you hear any negative self talk instead of condemning them, turn it into a game. We let him become King Arthur and he has to slay the negative dragon. For example, if he says I can’t do something he has to slay the cant and find the can and pull it out like Excalibur.
You can pick anything and this teaches your child to recognise when they are giving negative self-talk. As a result they then turn it into a positive in a fun way.
As parents, you have many strategies you can work on today. These are strategies we applied ourselves through trial and error. As a parent, we can only do the best we can and every child is different and responds to different techniques. Even if just one of these techniques that work, that’s a success.
We love to hear your stories and your success on how to help your child practice self-love.