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Encourage your Child to Feel Important
It's imperative for a child's healthy development to feel important and worthy. Healthy self-esteem is a child's armor against the challenges of the world. Kids who feel good about themselves seem to have an easier time handling conflicts and resisting negative pressures. They tend to smile more readily and enjoy life. These kids are realistic and generally optimistic. It's also been shown that children who feel important are well-rounded, respectful, and excel in academics, extracurricular activities and hobbies and develop healthy relationships with their peers.
In contrast, for children who do not feel important or cherished have low self-esteem, and challenges can become sources of major anxiety and frustration. Children who think poorly of themselves have a hard time finding solving problems, and may become passive, withdrawn, or depressed.
You are the biggest influence in your child feeling important, valued and worthy. Remember to praise your child for a job well done, and also for putting for a valiant effort. Praise the good traits they naturally possess, and help them find ways to learn from their mistakes and failures. Be honest and sincere in your praise. Help them realize that you also suffer from self doubt and can make mistakes from time to time, but that you know that you are important, valued and loved. When you nurture your own self -esteem and importance, your child will learn to do the same, so be sure to lead by example and steer clear of self-depreciating yourself or engaging in activities that lower your self-worth or importance.
Your child may have inaccurate or irrational beliefs about themselves, their abilities or their traits. Accentuate the positive about your child, and encourage your child to set realistic expectations and standards for themselves. Help them identify traits or skills they'd like to improve and help them come up with a game plan for accomplishing that goal. Encourage your child to become involved in cooperative activities that foster a sense of teamwork and accomplishment.
Through these and other positive, affirming activities, your child is sure to develop a strong sense of self importance, value and worth which will carry into their adult years.
BONUS : Encourage Your Child To Give Respect And They'll Gain Respect In Return
One of the most important things you can teach your child is respect and the best way to teach respect is to show respect. When a child experiences respect, they know what it feels like and begin to understand how important it is.
Keep in mind the saying "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
Respect is an attitude. Being respectful helps a child succeed in life. If children don't have respect for peers, authority, or themselves, it's almost impossible for them to succeed. A respectful child takes care of belongings and responsibilities, and a respectful child gets along with peers.
Schools teach children about respect, but parents have the most influence on how respectful children become. Until children show respect at home, it's unlikely they will show it anywhere else.
How can you show respect to your child? If you do something wrong, admit it and apologize. Don't embarrass, insult or make fun of your child. Compliment them and let your child make choices and take responsibility. Listen to your child's side of the story before making a decision on an issue or problem. Be polite and use "please" and "thank you" when asking them to do things. Knock before entering your child's room. Keep promises. Show your child that you mean what you say. And give your child your full attention.
And most important, teach your children that respect is earned. Make sure that you are leading by example and modeling respectful behavior. Be a law-abiding citizen. Show concern for your environment, animals and other people. Openly and honestly discuss exampled of witnessed disrespect.
In addition, teach your child to respect themselves. Self-respect is one of the most important forms of respect. Once we respect ourselves, it is easier to respect others.
Help them set and achieve goals. Encourage honesty and teach them that people make mistakes, and that they are the best way to learn.
Most importantly, praise your child often for good deeds, behaviors or traits, and tell them you love them at least several times each day. You're sure to raise a child capable of giving and gaining respect.