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Giving children a sense of self-worth (part 4 of 12)


9) Let him have the courage to apologise when he is wrong, and forgive others when they are wrong.

10) Develop in him the habit of praising and thanking others, even for small acts of kindness, starting with those at home.

11) He must know that others in his life are important. Selfishness, in any form, destroys character, performance and others. One way of helping him, is to get him to share food, toys and anything else which he calls ‘mine’.

12) Never allow tantrums. We should put an immediate stop to them, if necessary, with some form of disciplining.

13) Focus on behaviour: “Your lazy behaviour must change”. Never: “You are a bad boy”. Reinforce good behaviour. When he puts away his toys, compliment him.

14) Monitor his TV time, and the programs he watches. Let the TV not become an addiction. Also check his reading habits, the internet he logs on to and the company he keeps.

15) Treat him like a person. Listen to him when he talks and reply him like we would another person.

16) Create an enjoyable family culture. Disputes in the family, particularly between us (wrangling spouses), are not in the interest of the child. Different rules made by us – one by mummy and the opposite by daddy – confuse the child. He will develop a polarity in favour of the more lenient parent.

Even if he is slow in building self-worth, hug him and kiss him often. He needs love, demonstrated.

Besides these suggestions to build self-worth, some families follow a few nurturing practises:

a) Family Prayer: Teach him to pray; and get him to join in family prayers. In time, he will learn to anchor his faith in God.

b) Family Meals: Let him be part of the family meals. A child can learn much at the dining table.

c) Family Discussions: The family that links up through timely and warm discussions forges a closeness that most circumstances cannot prise apart. Whether it is planning a family picnic, a change of school or a change in meal timings, a family discussion, where all (the little fellow also) participate, binds the family with unseen bonds.

d) Family Outings: Visiting relations and friends, outings to fun spots, going to the movies, concerts and the theatre – these bring the family together. Planning for such outings is a thrill for children. Allow him to get fully involved.

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