Any parent will know that their kid isn’t stupid. From the age of about 1, you start realizing your kid is super-duper smart. Sure, there will be times when they undermine this belief by eating their Lego Boba Fett or licking a cat, but that is just them being kids and exploring the world with their mouth, as all kids do.
What we’re trying to say is, kids are perceptive, and so it is crucial that you instill a positive sense of self-worth from the earliest age possible. This is because it has proved to produce positive, happy, competent, well-loved and productive people.
But how can you boost your child’s sense of self-worth?
Give Them The Choice
We don’t mean just hand them all the choice in the world all the time. That would be a disaster. And possibly expensive. No. We mean offer them the choice of pre-selected options. This will give that important feeling of being empowered. It’s amazing how something as small as asking them whether they would like toast or cereal for breakfast can massively improve their self-esteem levels, while also helping them learn the valuable life skill of making choices and sticking with them. That’s good preparation.
Don’t Give into Every Demand
There is a time in every child’s life where they absolutely abhor the word, ‘no’. However, it is important that you teach them they can’t have everything they demand, especially when they scream, shout and have a tantrum about it. It could be that you walk into a shop and they see some seriously pretty clothes on the rail and, through weird noises and squeals, demand to be a Dolce and Gabbana baby. Well, your role is to teach them there is a polite way of asking, and to give them a self-worth that is established through manners and not shouts. This will set them up for later life where the smallest please or thank you can go a long way, while also telling them they can’t have everything they want.
Don’t Do Everything For Them
Patience is a virtue and the biggest requirement of any parent. But it isn’t just you that will thrive from self-restraint because your kid will too. Seriously. You have to let your kid work things out for his or herself. Otherwise they will never learn. Kids become fiercely independent from a young age and, as infuriating that can get, it is also critical to development and self-esteem. Yes, it may be quicker if you get them dressed, but by letting them do it you are helping them to develop a new skill. You won’t always be there and so they need to learn how to handle – and master – new challenges themselves.
Explain There Is No Such thing As A Stupid Question
No one is perfect and no one knows everything. Even genius’ like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs had to ask for help and had to ask questions. It is quite simply how we grow as people and as a society. So if your kid has a question, answer it, no matter how silly it may seem. Of course, this won’t always be the case, not at school anyway. Kids ask a silly question and other kids laugh, which puts them off asking questions for life. So always be a safe haven for them to ask you anything, and teach them that being laughed at for a minute is far better than not knowing something for a lifetime.