Have you ever wondered why so many people, who seemingly have everything, end up killing themselves? Elvis Presley, Marlin Monroe, Kurt Cobain and so many more ‘superstars’ who have all the money and fame in the world. They seem to have all the ‘reasons’ to be incredibly happy, but they end up choosing to end their own lives and most often turn to drugs to feel some sense of happiness. The answer lies in self esteem. Having a high esteem for yourself means that YOU value YOURSELF. This is not only the key to true happiness, but also the key to living a full and prosperous life. As a parent you can really do much more than you think to increase your child's self esteem.
The real question for you as a parent is ‘what do you really want for your child?’ Do you want them to be, do and have all those things that you never had or accomplished? So many parents live their own shortcomings and unfulfilled desires through their children and in the process they strip their children of the ultimate privilege which is to live and actualize their own wants and needs. It’s important to realize that your job as a parent is that of a guide and not that of a boss. The lowest level of leadership is that of dictatorship – if you enforce certain actions they are usually followed with a sense of resentment and as long as your children feel like they have to satisfy someone else, they will never grow in themselves and never have high self esteem.
self esteem comes from within. No one can give it to you. It is a feeling within yourself that makes you feel worthy, important and significant. We all have to have that – we all have to feel significant in some way and whether you meet this need in positive or negative ways, you will meet it. If you want to increase your child's self esteem you need to seek ways of helping the feel significant in positive and empowering ways. Being the best in class can make a child feel just as significant as popping pills will. The only difference is in the way the need is met. Your job as a parent is to never push, but to guide and encourage your child to meet the need of significance in ways that will empower them and lay a strong foundation for their future.
With all the studies in self image psychology, one of the most significant findings was that all your personal performance can be directly related to your self image. Your self image is nothing but the way you ‘see’ yourself and self esteem is nothing but the way you see and feel about yourself. This is everything in life. As long as you believe you don’t deserve something you won’t. As long as you believe you can’t, then you won’t. As long as you believe you are fat, you won’t loose weight.
So what can you do as a parent to increase your child's self esteem? Realize that high self esteem comes from making yourself do difficult things. That feeling of pride in doing something that was hard and something that you thought you could not do, will give you an inner sense of accomplishment, self worth and belief in your latent abilities that raises your self esteem. self esteem is universal and will encourage and enable your child to do and attempt other things that previously seemed impossible for them. Your role as a parent, to increase your child's self esteem, is similar to that of a good coach. You are there to support and encourage your child, but never to push them too far. If you push them too hard you will raise your self esteem when they succeed and not theirs. self esteem is an internal game and you have to encourage it within your child to make the decisions and to take the actions for him or herself.
You can help to increase your child's self esteem by simply helping them to see the magnificence that is already within them. Teach your children to develop and have controls from within. Teach them that no one can make them feel bad about themselves without their consent and that other people’s opinions of them are none of their business. The key to high self esteem is to become inner directive and to learn how to listen to and trust in your own internal guide which is that unique perfection that is within each and every one of us.
As a parent you must lead by example. You can not expect your children to have high self esteem if you don’t. Value yourself and take care of yourself on all levels - emotionally, spiritually and physically. This is the simplest way that you can start to increase your child's self esteem and when your children see how much you love and value yourself, they will soon follow. Not because they have to, but because they want to. Never try and raise your own self esteem through your children, their achievements and their accomplishments. This will break them down underneath the surface and until and unless they do and achieve their own successes, regardless of how small it might seem, they will never experience the bliss of self love and high self esteem.
Article by Deon Du Plessis
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