Early and often when my children were first able to communicate I would tell them I always wanted a daughter like you. I told them this all through growing up even when there were moments of tension. We did have our share of tensions with four girls. I would reassure them that I always wanted them this was step one on how to build my child’s self esteem.
Everybody wants to know and hear that they are wanted. So many children that do not feel wanted suffer from low self esteem that can lead to many problems such as:
– Teen Runaways
– Teen Suicide
– Substance Abuse
– Teen Pregnancy
I used to build my children’s self esteem by letting them know they are born perfect, the way they were intended to be born. They do not need to add anything to themselves or take anything away. I told each one of them that they are beautiful just the way they were. I began telling them this around age 5 when they started elementary school. I reinforced this concept to them all through elementary school and well into their teen years. So many young girls try to fit the images society portrays like having the perfect model body. Some girls when they see their own body they feel inadequate and the need to change themselves in some way or another. This can lead to many problems such as food disorders like
-Anorexia a condition in which a child refuses to eat adequate calories out of an intense and irrational fear of becoming fat.
-Bulimia a condition in which a child grossly overeats (binging) and then purges the food by vomiting or using laxatives to prevent weight gain.
–Bing Eating a condition in which a child may gorge rapidly on food, but without purging.
To help fight these problems off I would try to build their self-esteem. As parents we need to try to be more educated about these issues and talk about them openly with our children.
I used to build my children’s self esteem by letting them know the day each one was born was a one of the happiest days of my life. When we celebrate our children and recognize their birthday’s and tell them how glad we are that they are in our lives. These celebration helps builds their sense of self worth and family identity. Forming a family Identity helps prevent the children from becoming distant in teen years.
Building self-esteem is hard work but it is an important job we all have as parents to raise well-adjusted healthy young adults and contributing members first to our families and second to our society.