Aparna Samuel Balasundaram is a USA- Licensed Psychotherapist and Parent and Child Expert with 10 years of experience in the USA. She is the Founder of Life Skills Experts and the Life Skills 360¡ System that enables parents and teachers to raise happy, confident and successful children. Visit www. LifeSkillsExperts.com for more information. She is also the Founder of ‘A Flourishing Me’ that offers contemporary Counselling and Life Coaching [www.AFlourishing.me].
“The Way we TALK to our Children becomes their INNER VOICE.”- Peggy O’Mara
Did you know that every word that comes out of a parent’s mouth impacts a child? As a parent, you can decide whether that impact is positive or negative!
One of the questions I get asked the most is, ‘Aparna, my child is so shy…what can I do to make my child more confident?’ Ring a bell?
Many parents then inadvertently believe the answer lies in signing their child up for multiple activities, buying branded stuff and the latest gadgets, having lavish birthday parties, pushing them to get that lead role in the class play…am sure you get the drift!
Well, in my experience the first step to raising your child’s self-esteem is really very simple, …it is the words you use when you talk to your child!
Although building self-esteem is a lifelong process, the foundation of a strong self-esteem is established in childhood. The way a parent speaks to a child greatly influences their self esteem. Hence, a child that hears a lot of parental criticism and is labelled as lazy, mean, messy, stupid…will start to feel like a failure and live out that label. But a child that hears ‘Positive Parental Talk’ will learn to believe in himself, even if he came last in a race!
So, parents, here are three ways in which you can build your child’s self-esteem by enhancing your conversations with them:
Ask their opinion - many of us grew up being told what to do by our parents, and were rarely asked what we thought or wanted. Well, that’s a sure way to break a child’s confidence! The best way to address this is to send them a message that they are being heard by an adult and what they have to say is valued. So, even if it is a simple thing like asking them where to eat, what to order from the menu or which movie to watch, including a child’s opinion in the family decision-making process enhances their sense of self-worth.