Heighten your Child's Self Esteem for Stress Free Kids!
Children can experience stress in a variety of different ways. From tummy aches before school, fear of being bullied, to difficult family relationships, stress is manifested in a variety of ways. How can we truly get to the core of this problem and truly help our children?
Before we get into tools for dealing with children's stress, let's discuss how to avoid stress in the first place. What can you do as a parent to help your children avoid stress and heighten self-esteem?
1. Let your children know and feel you love them unconditionally.
2. Understand and continually remind our children that "mistakes" are part of growing up and in fact part of life-long learning.
4. Spend true quality time with your child. Read together cuddled up. Play together. Forget adult life and responsibilities for a while and let your inner child come through.
5. When difficult things happen, let your child know that it is just an experience and something to learn from. Discuss what lessons they and you could take away from the situation.
6. Work on enforcing your child's healthy self-concept. This is ongoing, throughout life. Children need to feel they are valuable just because they are alive!
7. Take time for hugs and kisses no matter what age of your child or teen. These moments are vital for the well-being of your child, and for feeling that loving parent-child bond.
8. Involve your child in your life. Allow them to participate in your everyday responsibilities. Allowing them to help you enables your child to feel valuable and that you trust and believe in them.
9. If your child doesn't feel confident in a situation or is resisting, don't force her. Be patient, talk about it openly and when she is ready, let her do it. Enthusiastic encouragement to try something new is marvelous, but forcing a child to do something when she is truly not ready makes her feel she has no control over life and that she will always have to turn to you for approval and permission. This may seem fine as a child, but as an adult, it's called co-dependence - not a desired trait in a grown adult.
10. Allow and encourage your child to make her own decisions. The decisions should be small at first. By allowing your growing child to make decisions, confidence builds and slowly a child realizes that his opinion is important and that he does have some control in his own life. Children become empowered and strong and will not look to others to make decisions for them or constantly give their power over to someone else in their life as they become adults. Too often adults let others make decisions for them (think media, doctors, financial advisers) because they lack the self-confidence to make the decisions. They think others know best for their own lives and will make the right decisions for them. The truth is that in life, we have to seek our own answers. While a doctor or financial adviser may have a good answer, the real question is: it is the RIGHT answer for YOUR life?
11. Don't always give your child the answers. Allow them to use their critical mind and develop their self-esteem by thinking through a situation and coming up with their own solution. It may or may not work out, but your child will have gained useful information and will have gained a load of confidence knowing that he can make decisions by himself. He will see the consequences as well and learn from that. Additionally, life is not about having all the answers. Life is about knowing where to look for those answers!