If that is the type of self-esteem / inner strength we wish to give our child, how do we go about it?
Acceptance – You are Ok – I love you for what you are. You do not have to keep doing things to gain my approval.
Respect – The tone and the words we use – A person who is respected believes in himself.
Autonomy – Giving up control – allowing choices and teaching decision making from a young age. Not doing for child what he can do for himself.
Trust – Believing that the child is a thinking person who will do the right thing when trusted.
Responsiveness – Being attentive in responding to the child gives the message- I am important to Mom/dad.
Believing in uniqueness – Every child need not be good at the same things. Being able to identify your child’s strengths and appreciate them. (never compare – it is the most de-motivating thing to do to a child)
All this is really difficult because it means completely changing our notion of what our role is as parents. We have been led to believe that the role of a parent is to constantly correct, scold, preach, push. We need to reflect on what all this does to the child and our relationship with him.
Can it be possible that ACCEPTANCE is the greatest gift we can give a children for him/her to have a really solid self esteem.