Self-esteem is a subject in psychology that awakens more and more interest in education from mothers and fathers. It is a present concern in many homes and is part of the conversations between family members. And is that children's self-esteem It takes on more and more prominence in problems such as depression, anorexia, shyness or drug abuse. We cannot forget that it is one of the most fundamental pillars for the good emotional and motivational development of our children.
Self-esteem is a person's awareness of their own worth, the highest point of who we are and our responsibilities, with certain good aspects and others that can be improved, and the gratifying feeling of loving and accepting us as we are for ourselves and towards our relationships. And of course, all this makes us happier and we can relate to the people around us in a more pleasant and assertive way.
Working with our children, their self-esteem is very important. As indicated in the study 'Self-concept, Self-esteem and school learning' for the Piscothema magazine (written by Julio A. González-Pienda, J. Carlos Núñez Pérez, Soledad Glez-Pumariega and Marta S. García García from the University of Oviedo, Spain), the self-concept that children have of themselves has a great weight in the way in which they regulate everything related to the cognitive and motivational field. That is to say, Self-esteem also directly affects children's learning and, as added in this research, to their academic performance.
The concept we have of ourselves is our real mirror, which teaches us who we are, what abilities we have, and how we develop through our experiences and expectations. It is the result of the relationship between the child's character and the environment in which it develops.
Self-esteem is a basic element in the personal formation of children. Your development in learning, in good relationships, in activities will depend on your degree of self-esteem, and why not say it, in the construction of happiness.
When a child gains good self-esteem, they feel competent, secure, and valuable.. You understand that learning is important and you don't feel diminished when you need help. You will be responsible, you will communicate fluently, and you will interact with others in an appropriate way.
Unlike, the child with low self-esteem will not trust his own possibilities nor in those of others. They will feel inferior in front of other people and, therefore, they will behave in a more timid, critical way and with little creativity, which in some cases may lead them to develop aggressive behaviors and to withdraw from their colleagues and family.
Some experts claim that low self-esteem can lead children to problems with depression, anorexia or drug use, while a good self-esteem can make a person have confidence in their abilities, not allow themselves to be manipulated by others, be more sensitive to the needs of the other and, among other things, be willing to defend their own principles and values.
In this sense, it would be advisable for parents to care both about maintaining good physical health in their children, as well as promoting their stability and emotional health.
Self esteem is a fundamental piece in the construction of the pillars of childhood and adolescence. Self-esteem is not a subject that you learn in school. It is built on a daily basis through personal relationships of acceptance and trust.
The emotional side of children should never be ignored by parents and teachers. Be attentive to children's mood swings and their emotional ups and downs. From birth to adolescence, because of their vulnerability and flexibility, children must find security and affection in the people around them and parents can do much to improve their child's self-esteem.
Everything that is achieved in this period of physical, intellectual and emotional development and growth can seal their behavior and their attitude towards life in adulthood.
Given the importance of promoting good self-esteem in children, here are some basic tips that can be of great help to all parents who are trying to reinforce their children's self-concept and happiness.
1. Watch the way you talk to your children, both the tone and the words you use. Some phrases can be devastating for the little ones (because they invalidate their emotions or transmit a negative message to them unconsciously). However, our language also has the power to empower children and make them feel stronger and more capable.
2. It is also important to dedicate phrases to our children that motivate them. When a child is motivated, he dares to pursue his dreams, to overcome the problems he encounters, to always continue learning with a smile ... Remember 'You can' are two magic words for all children.
3. Let your children have responsibilities and tasks and let them take care of them themselves (even if they don't make the bed as well as you'd like or collect the toys perfectly). When children feel useful and feel the satisfaction of a job well done, they value themselves more. In addition, it is a good way to promote autonomy from childhood.
4. Never compare your children to each other, nor with other children. The popular saying goes that comparisons are hateful ... and you are absolutely right! We can never forget that each child has their own qualities and rhythms. Of course, criticism or humiliation in public is also contraindicated.
5. Avoid overprotecting children. Instead, let them face the problems that arise and give them the tools so that they know how to solve conflicts. This can lead them to make certain mistakes, but they can learn a lot from mistakes.
6. Love your son and let him know; support your child and let him know; respect your child and let him know. For children to have good self-esteem, they must grow up in a loving and safe environment. In this context, limits and rules are essential, as they provide stability and security for children. However, these should always be established from kindness, respect and firmness.
7. Talk to children about emotions and builds a safe and dialogue climate at home that encourages them to share how they feel. Don't be afraid to ask them questions about what they feel (including where in the body they feel that emotion). In this way, we will raise their awareness and make them understand that there is nothing wrong with talking about our emotions.
Emotional education is essential for children to learn from a very young age to identify and name their emotions.
In addition to making certain changes in our way of relating to children, as we have just explained, parents also have different options available to us. educational resources that help us build self-esteem in our children.
There are different stories and games with which children can understand what the word 'self-esteem' means, but they can also reflect on whether they themselves have a good self-concept or can see desirable or reprehensible behaviors and attitudes exemplified in the characters of the stories.
The possibilities are almost endless and we must always adapt them to the age and abilities of our children so that they are really effective. In any case, below we propose some dynamics that could be useful to you.
- The bottle of happiness
You should get a jar, boat or box that you have at home and a sheet of paper. Every day, you must write on a piece of paper a nice message for someone in the family, a famous quote full of motivation, a pleasant memory that you have shared ... You can write any nice and positive message.
The paper is then folded and inserted into the container. Once a day, a week or a month (depending on how busy your schedule is), you can take these messages out of the jar of happiness and read them aloud. They are sure to fill you with joy!
- The treasure chest
This game is designed for children to reflect on how special and important they themselves are. In a box, we put a mirror and, when we give it to them to open it, we must say to them: 'In this box is the greatest of the world's treasures, do you know what it is?' Once you see the contents of the box you can chat about how we are each unique.
- The sticky notes of good self-esteem
This dynamic is as simple as filling our house with sticky notes with positive phrases full of motivation and beautiful messages. Every time you read them, you will be filled with good energy.
Stories that talk about children's self-esteem
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