Many parents want their children to feel adjusted, comfortable, and confident and to be happy and successful in their lives. However, the one major key that opens the door to all of that is self-esteem, and while many parents claim they wish for their child to have all of these things, they are participating in many behaviors that will effectively ensure they never do by inadvertently destroying their self-esteem.
That may sound dramatic, but self-esteem is a big deal. If we struggle with how we view ourselves, if we never gain any confidence or trust in ourselves, we will struggle throughout our lives. Kids with low self-esteem never reach for their dreams and if they do, they do so half-hazard. They struggle in friendships and relationships, and they struggle with tendencies that can be self-sabotaging. If you are a parent that wants their child to succeed, then please make sure you aren’t participating in the following behaviors.
1. Being overly critical.
There is a fine line between helping your child to get better, and completely tearing them down at every turn. The thing is, you should be holding your child accountable, but you should steer clear of nitpicking and over-criticizing. Yes, they do need guidance, however, they do not need you to tear them down at every turn.
To aid in positive parenting, consider incorporating “The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind” into your parenting approach.
2. Never allow them to have any responsibilities.
A major key that helps your child to develop confidence in themselves is having responsibilities. If you allow them to get out of their responsibilities, such as chores, you are robbing them of their ability to gain confidence in themselves. Chores and responsibilities help your child gains a sense of accomplishment and mastery.
A helpful tool for this is the “Responsibility Chart for Kids” to keep track of their tasks and accomplishments.
3. Yelling and hitting.
It has always been odd to me that parents teach their kids to ‘act right’ by acting for themselves. Before you all come for me, imagine trying to teach your child impulse control while lacking impulse control in your self. At the end of the day, yelling and screaming, and hitting only make your child feel a lack of trust in you and themselves.
“Parenting Without Yelling: How to Get Kids to Listen” is a resourceful book for parents looking to improve communication and discipline.
4. Expecting perfection.
Holding your child to unrealistic expectations and standards that are impossible to reach is the equivalent of setting them up for failure. At the end of the day, your child is going to grow tired of always being set up to fail and eventually, you will diminish their self-esteem.
5. Fostering a victim mentality.
When you say things like, “We will never have a life like that because we were born poor,” you are reinforcing the belief that circumstances are out of your child’s control. In turn, your child is more likely to host their pity parties and develop a victim mentality.