Creative encouragement can help a child develp positive self esteem

CREATIVE ENCOURAGMENT
 
What is the point of praise
and encouragement
 

Of course we want our kids to know when we are proud of them.  But what if we were able praise and offer creative encouragement in a way that would teach our kids that they can be proud of themselves.  This way they are not looking to the outside world for validation. Is that not what self-esteem is based on after all?  That a person knows they are good enough, worthy, special, smart, and capable.  To have an internal sense of pride is one of the most precious gifts a parent can give a child.  To know that no matter what others think of them they know rheyare worthy is what self positive self esteeem is all about. 

 
The benefits astronomical!
 
Simply put children do not need others to tell them who they are, how to be cool, how to be beautiful….the list goes on and on.
Think of the benefits this will play in a person’s life starting at a young age.  Remember when you were a child and the peer pressure involved you felt.  So many children make decisions in their life because they want to look cool or they want to fit in.  Well, this is the reality of the situation -  if your child is comfortable in his own skin and knows who he is ,then he has no need for anybody to tell him that he’s good enough - he already knows it. 
And what about the little girls who struggle in adolescence thinking that they are not smart enough or pretty enough.  All the ads bombarding our children with products that make you thinner or prettier or blonder or ???  The point is that our culture continually tells children to look to outside resources to change who they are.  The truth is, they are already worthy, good enough, wonderful beings... they just don't know it.
Let’s take an example of how even well meaning praise and encouragement can undermine a child self esteem.  Now we are not saying not to praise and encourage your kids, we are just suggesting that perhaps in can be altered to be creative encouragement that builds a strong sense of self esteem at the same time.
 
Scenario 1

Julie, a little girl, age 5, walks out to where her parents are sitting and she has on a pretty yellow dress.  She has been in the bedroom dressing up and feeling pretty.

She comes out and says “Look at me mommy.”

Mommy- “Well you are so pretty in your yellow dress.”

Julia -nods and says “Look at me daddy.”

Daddy -says “You are very beautiful princess.”

Let’s look at what the child might start internalizing if this is repeated often enough.

·         She might have learned that if she picks the right dress and people like it that she
        is pretty
·         That if she spends time getting herself dressed up she will be given attention
        and told that she is worthy

·         She will learn that she gets attention by looking beautiful.

 
 Scenario 2

Julie, a little girl, age 5, walks out to where her parents are sitting and she has on a pretty yellow dress.  She has been in the bedroom dressing up and feeling pretty.

She comes out and says “Look at me mommy.”

Mommy -says ”You picked out that dress that you love and you think that you look really beautiful.”

She smiles and says “I think I am beautiful. Daddy look at me.”

Daddy -turns and says” You are very proud of getting already by yourself and you think you look beautiful.

She says “Yes I do.” and goes back to play

Let’s look at what the child might start internalizing if this is repeated often enough.

·         That she is proud that she picked out and put on her own cloths

·         That she is capable of taking care of her self

·         That she has good taste in clothes because after all she picked out the dress and now sees herself as pretty in it

·         She reinforced her dads comment that she is beautiful. 

·         She didn’t ask daddy do you think I am beautiful, she said I am beautiful

This type of praise, which helps your child identify their feelings, will go a long way towards helping them grow a healthy self esteem.  Julia doesn’t need anyone to tell her she’s pretty, she already knew that in the first place.  That is the exact reason she walked out there to show her parents.  She was already proud and felt beautiful she just needed to know that’s what she was feeling.  That’s why when her daddy said you're proud and think you look pretty she said, yes!  She already knew she just needed a little help identifying the feeling.  After all she is only five.

 

 

 




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