Child Development – Instilling Respect During your Child’s Development years

Originally Posted on March 9, 2012

Child Development – Instilling Respect During your Child’s Development years

Why is respect so important to parents? Is it just so that the parent can feel a sense of power over their children?

No, certainly not. Respect is very important for many specific reasons. Your child’s relationship with you will provide a basis for their attitude toward every other form of authority that they will encounter.  It will become the main cursor for the way they will later view teachers, law-enforcement officers, their future employers, and family members. Believe it or not your child’s teacher will be able to easily tell when your child has been allowed to have their own way at home, because your child will show a similar attitude in the classroom.  So the relationships your child has at home is the first and most important one your they will have, and those first experiences will spill over into their adult life.

Now, if you want your child to accept your values, when he or she reaches the teenage years, then she or he must develop respect for you during childhood years.  Look at it this way, when your child can effortlessly, routinely, and successfully, defy your authority during, say…their first 15 years, and even worse, when they can laugh in your face and stubbornly, stomp away, flouting your leadership, they will develop a natural contempt for anything and everything you say or stand for…needless to say, they become the one in control. That is sad, and borderline child abuse on your part, because your child depends on you to prepare them for the outside world, which will be a lot less forgiving than you. Once your child develops this attitude, they will consistently view you, the parent as stupid, one whom they believe is wrapped around their finger.  Not only that, they will also view you as being afraid of them.  While they may never utter these words, they will feel them each time they win a confrontation with you.  Face it, if your child believes you are afraid to lead them or correct them, they will not have a lot of confidence that you will in turn protect them when and if needed.

Again, your child’s respect for you is critical in the transmission of faith in you the parent, and on from their generation to the next.  Simply put, a child who disdains his mother and father will be less likely to emulate them in the things that matter the most.  If your child determines that you are not worthy of respect, than they will definately not respect your morals.  You could be a devout Christian, but if you neglect to teach your child to show you respect, how can you teach them to respect and reverence God?  They will in turn loose out on benefiting from the highest moral, your Christian faith in God, which is what will ultimately keep them though out life.

Food for thought…as usual, I would love to know Your thoughts.

Developing your Child’s Self-Esteem – Part 3 of 3 part Blog Series

Originally Posted February 19, 2012

Developing your Child’s Self-Esteem

Part 3 of 3 part Blog Series

Last week we covered various ways to promote high-self esteem or self-worth in your children, while being sensitive during critical moments. Finally, I want to share different ways to teach your child not only how to make good decisions but also how to recognize when he or she has made a good decision.

You may be surprised to know that often times, children make decisions but are not always aware that they are doing so. There are a number of ways that we as parents can help our children improve their ability to make sound decisions.

  • Help your child to clarify a problem where a decision is needed.  Such as asking them certain questions that will help them zero in on how they see, hear and feel about that situation.  This will help them better decide what to do.
  • In order to do this, you can help them brainstorm possible solutions (there is usually more than one solution or choice. Parents can help by pointing this out to their child.)
  • You can also allow your child to choose one of the possible solutions. Remember the best solution will both solve the problem, while making your child feel good about themselves.
  • Later on you can revisit the situation by evaluating the results. Such as, did it work out? or fail? If so why? Reviewing will help your child make a better decision next time. In the military this is called an “after action review”

In doing the above you are also helping to develop a positive approach to providing structure for your child, as all children need structure.

You can also help your child develop high self-esteem by helping them learn to focus on their strengths by pointing all the things that they can do.

Teaching them to always think well of them selves (positively) that way others will treat them the same.

Help them to think in terms of other alternatives instead of thinking in terms of only one solution for satisfaction.

Laugh often with your children and teach them to laugh at themselves; lightheartedness is a positive trait and helps one to deal with many different situations without stress.

I hope these tips have been helpful to you.  As always, I am interest in knowing your thoughts…or experiences regarding this topic.

Developing your Child’s Self-Esteem – Part 2 of 3 part Blog Series

Originally Posted on February 12, 2012

Developing your Child’s Self-Esteem

Part 2 of 3 part Blog Series

Last week we reviewed a list of things to watch for in your children which may identify low or high self-esteem in them.

This week we will focus on how to promote high-self esteem or self-worth in your child.

First and most importantly, make sure that you always speak positively to your child. Even if their behavior is not pleasing.  Sometimes parents are first and often too quick to express negative feelings to their children, and often times do not speak the positive things.  So as the Word of God says, speak those things that are not as though they were (Romans 4:17, King James Version), positive affirmations.

To put it simply, your children do not know if or when you feel good about them and thier actions if you do not express or convey your thoughts to them.  As such, that is something they NEED to hear on a regular basis. Believe it! This will make a world of difference in the way they view themselves.  As they will, more often then not, remember the positive things you say versus the negative, if you are more generous with praise or positive reenforcement, versus only pointing out the negative things they do.  In all certainty, our children will often store up your comments, whether they are negative or positive and will “replay” your statements to themselves. So as their primary caregiver and teacher, it is your responsibility to practice giving your child words of encouragement throughout each day. It will make a world of difference in the way they see themselves.

How to go about speaking positive to your child.

As stated earlier, make sure that you are generous with your words of encouragement or praise.  You can use what is called “descriptive praise.” This will allow your child to immediately know when they are doing something well.  This will take a little work on your part, because you will have to become in the habit of “looking” for situations where your child is doing well at a certain task or displaying a certain talent. So when your child completes a task or chore, it might be a good idea to say to them, “I really like the way you went about cleaning your room, it looks like you found a good place for everything and put everything in its place!” or if you see a certain notable talent being displayed, you can say, “oh you are so talented” or “wow, that last piece you played was wonderful.., you are really talented.” what even goes farther is when you praise them in front of their friends or other family members. The same can be said for pointing out positive character traits such as, “You are such a kind person.” or “I like your determination, even when things seem hard, you don’t give up! That is fantastic!”

You can even go a step further by teaching your child to speak positively by making his or her own positive self-statements.  I learned in the military a long time ago that negative thoughts and talk is often self-defeating. It is the main cursor in depression and anxiety.  As I stated last week, the way we think about our selves determines how we feel about our selves and the way we feel about ourselves will determine the way we behave.

Here are some good examples of positive self affirmations: “I can do this, if I just keep on trying!” or “oh well, I or we lost, it’s not the end of the world. We can always try again next time”  or,  “So what, they didn’t thank me, I didn’t do it to get thanks. It still feels good to help others…”

Conversely, times will come when you must criticize your child’s actions.  Just be sure to avoid criticism that evokes ridicule or shame.  It’s extremely important to use “I” statements rather than “You” statements when giving your child criticism. For example you could say, “I would really appreciate it if you would put your clothes where they go in your room instead of on the floor” instead of saying “you are so lazy!”

Good communication is paramount in all aspects of life, one that we must practice daily.

Next week I will provide additional guidance on helping to promote positive self-image in your children. Until then, I would love to know your thoughts…or experiences regarding this topic.

Developing your Child’s Self-Esteem – Part 1 of 3 part Blog Series

Originally Posted on February 3, 2012

Developing your Child’s Self-Esteem

Part 1 of 3 part Blog Series

How can parents help their children and teens develop a positive Self-image?

Let’s answer that question by asking ourselves, what value would positive Self-esteem add to our children’s character?

One thing is certain ~ Self-esteem is a major key to success in life. The development of a positive self-concept or healthy self-esteem is extremely important to the happiness and success of children and teenagers, and can strengthen their character tremendously.

In order to help our kids, we must have a basic understanding of how we can quickly and successfully contribute to the improvement our child’s self-esteem.

Self-esteem is effected by the way we feel about ourselves.  Our behavior clearly reflects our inner feelings and our inner feelings effect our self-image (self-esteem), it’s a circle, one we can control if we make an effort to stay in tune.

Below is a quick list of things to look for in your child to determine if they are showing signs related to a high self-esteem:

  •     acts independently
  •     assumes responsibility
  •     takes pride in his or her accomplishments
  •     tolerates frustration
  •     freely attempts new tasks and challenges
  •     handles positive and negative emotions well
  •     freely offers to help others

Here is a quick list of things to look for in your child to determine if they show signs related to a low-self esteem:

  •       avoids trying new things
  •       seems to feel unloved and unwanted
  •       quickly blames others for his or her own shortcomings
  •       feels, or pretends to feel, emotionally indifferent
  •       seems unable to tolerate a normal level of frustration
  •       he or she speaks negatively about their own talents and abilities
  •       her or she is easily influenced

Whether you notice any or all of the above traits in your child, you may find it encouraging to know that we as parents (more than anyone else) can make the necessary adjustments to help promote our kids’ self-esteem. This is big! You have the power to help your child overcome any negative traits and adapt more positive ones in order to yield a more positive self-image.

More often then not, we as parents do not realize that our words and actions have a large impact on the way our children or teenagers feel about themselves, be it positive or negative.

Next week I will provide additional guidance on helping to promote a positive self-image in your children, in Part 2 of our 3 Part Blog Series.

Until then, I would love to know your thoughts…or experiences regarding this topic.

Perspectives on Parenting

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