• Raising a confident and self-assured child

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    JOCELYN LAUREL

    Children Learn What They Live
    If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.
    If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.
    If a child lives with fear, he learns to be apprehensive.
    If a child lives with pity, he learns to feel sorry for himself.
    If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy.
    If a child lives with jealousy, he learns what envy is.
    If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty.
    If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to be confident.
    If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.
    If a child lives with praise, he learns to be appreciative.
    If a child lives with acceptance, he learns to love.
    If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.
    If a child lives with recognition, he learns that it is good to have a goal.
    If a child lives with sharing, he learns about generosity.
    If a child lives with honesty and fairness, he learns what truth a
    and justice are.
    If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith in himself
    and in those about him.
    If a child lives with friendliness, he learns that the world is a nice place in which to live.
    If you live with serenity, your child will live with peace of mind.
    With what is your child living?
    —Dorothy Law Nolte

    We live in an irrationally dissatisfied world, where we love to compare. As such, people are never satisfied with what they have.

    Their bodies, for instance: Filipinos want to be fair-skinned like Westerners, boosting the sales of bleaching products while Westerners crave for the bronzed skin that Filipinos naturally possess and spend hundreds of dollars on tanning lotions; those with moles have them removed, while others surgically have moles implanted to “enhance” their beauty; some are perpetually on a diet to get thin, while others fatten up to have a “booty” like Beyonce.

    We never seem to be content with just how we look or what we have. Someone called it Comparisonitis—a sickness characterized by one’s tendency to look for similarities and differences in another person’s behavior, action, and traits and compare these with his or her own.

    We need to teach children at a young age how to love themselves and be at peace with themselves. If we don’t reinforce this kind of positivity, our children will live their whole lives uncomfortable with who they are.

    Helena, a confident, happy and well-disciplined girl, on her very first day in Kindergarten

    A child’s self-image is the biggest determining factor in their happiness and overall success in life and it is a parent’s responsibility to build their child’s self-worth and give them the confidence they need to succeed. If parents fail to provide their children with the love and attention they crave, they will search for it elsewhere.

    Remember, everything starts at home: feed your child kind, loving words, and they will grow up feeling loved; remind them of their worth and they will grow up feeling appreciated. However, if your child hears nothing but criticisms and insults, he or she will feel the need to rebel. Ultimately, the way we treat or speak to our children will influence their behavior and the way they perceive themselves.

    This positive atmosphere must also be present in a child’s school environment. Teachers are our children’s second parents, and however a teacher treats or whatever he or she says to her students will forever be etched in a child’s mind. Because there is a great tendency for kids to emulate personalities, it is of great importance for teachers and parents to be good role models.

    Therefore, parents and teachers should make a conscious effort to teach their children to love themselves first, before they love other people. It will be the foundation of everything they do, and everything they are.

    Helping your child grow up with strong self-esteem is one of the most important things you can do as a parent and as a teacher, because you influence how a child feels about his or herself: Who they are is a mirror of you!

    One of the greatest satisfactions of any preschool teacher is knowing that our preschool “babies” have adjusted well into their new “big school.”

    Most private schools opened their doors to a fresh new school year in the previous week, and so, it was extremely heartwarming to receive text messages from mothers of our former preschoolers, thanking the teachers and myself for helping equip their children for their new big school.

    Here is one of those touching messages: “Thank You, Teacher Jo, for teaching Helena how to be a confident, happy and well-disciplined girl. She woke up early, ate fast and got dressed in a flash. She was so excited for big school. She did not become shy even if there were so many students (in her new school). Thank you so much to you, to your very efficient teachers and to CCE!”

    In today’s world, where children are so prone to becoming negatively influenced by what their family members, friends and even strangers have to say about them, many may not be given the proper tools to handle and cope with the influx of negative influences that invade their daily lives.

    This is why developing a healthy self-esteem and self- acceptance is so essential to a child’s development. And the process of instilling self-love should begin as early as possible.

    When a child is born, he or she is born with a “Tabula rasa” or blank slate. But after birth, this blank slate is lost, replaced constantly by every outside stimulus, which ultimately affects one’s development.

    Children need their parent’s support in every area of their life. Reinforce and strengthen all of the good things they do with praise and confidence! More than anything, be proud of your child for who he or she is and that it’s okay to be themselves.

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