Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesday Tidbit- Kid Self-Esteem

I found them!!!!! I found the notes I had been looking for! We've received much interest in this particular talk that I had listened to and was sharing about earlier, so I've decided to continue it (uhm, now that I've found the notes, that is!)

Another reason, according to the lawyer who was speaking that night, why good kids go bad, is the depreciation of self-esteem. We all see it. We've all done it. But of we are doing it with our kids habitually, we are not setting them up for success.

We all want our kids to treat us properly and respect us, correct? Well where does that start?

It starts with us respecting them.

This summer, the B Kids came up to another level of awareness. As the mom, I am more than accustomed to doing for the family and generally being the last one on the list. I think I reached my end this summer when The Hub and I started noticing their attitude of entitlement. As in, "Me first!" and "I will hog it all if I want to!" and "It doesn't matter if Mom gets any. She's the Mom! It's what she does!"

Uh... not THIS Mommy!

It was an eye opener to them when I started saying,"Excuse me, that's mine. Please put that back."

After careful conversation, they began to connect that there are boundaries and finite amounts of whatever we may be sharing. And that EVERYONE, including the Mommy, should have equal portion.

In drawing the line, not only was I setting a boundary for them, I was teaching them to set boundaries. When we teach our children to set boundaries, we empower them to take control over their lives, to protect themselves from emotional hurt and abuse, as well as physical. Seems small, but it's huge. It says to them that they are important enough to have thoughts and feelings and they have the right to protect those.

In keeping with that, as parents, we must be careful to value those thoughts and feelings. When they are concerned about something, take the time to listen (easier said than done, I know, especially if you have some social bloomers like mine!). When you talk to them, show them the respect that you would like to have. What we model, good OR bad, is what they in turn will emulate. Involve them in the decision making. Not every decision, of course, but one you know they can handle or care about. And recognize their accomplishments. This does not mean that we give them a trophy or new toy every time they do something well. But it does mean being their biggest cheerleader and especially catching them at doing something you've been working on or doing something good when they thought no one was watching.

I've heard Dr. Dobson say,"For every "yes" a child hears, they will hear "no" ten times." What is for every time we corrected our kids, we found something they were doing right and let them know we noticed?

Yours, looking for the best in my kids,


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