Among the general population of kids and teenagers, anxiety is at an all-time high and self-esteem is at an all-time low. The reasons for this epidemic run deep and are not easily addressed, which makes it all the more important that moms and dads (the #1 influence in the life of a child) regularly do what you can to speak words of affirmation and do little things on a consistent basis that affirm your child’s sense of self-worth. Here are ten simple ideas:
- Catch them doing something good and call it out.
- Practice saying phrases like, “You are so good at…..”, “I love the way you…..” and “thank you for……”
- Refuse to compare them to other siblings and children.
- Set healthy, consistent and sustainable boundaries. This lets your children know you care about them which improves self-esteem.
- Be interested in what THEY are interested in.
- Be a good listener. Listening is a key way to show that you value somebody.
- Take your child on a “date” at least once a month…let them choose the activity.
- Discipline, don’t punish. Punishment is meant to penalize and cause pain; discipline is meant to promote growth.
- Speaking of discipline and punishment…look for opportunities to surprise them with grace and mercy when they expect the opposite.
- Keep them involved in church! No church is perfect, but being part of a Christian community of peers is vital for the spiritual, emotional and relational health of your children.
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