Thursday, 3 June 2021

Teaching your children to love themselves

As children growing up, we’re faced with many situations that might knock our confidence, such as being told not to bother our parents when they’re busy, not achieving the expected grades at school, or not fitting into a peer group because of our appearance. Whatever it is that causes children to be lacking in self-worth, it’s important that we, as adults, teach them to love themselves unconditionally. 

Research published on the website Oxford Academic showed that: “self esteem can lead to better health and social behaviour, and that poor self-esteem is associated with a broad range of mental disorders and social problems, both internalising problems (e.g depression, suicidal tendencies, eating disorders and anxiety) and externalising problems (e.g. violence and substance abuse).

The importance of self-love

Self-love is a vital component of happiness. By learning to accept our emotions, thoughts and individuality, we strengthen our core being and ultimately enjoy a more positive and fulfilled life. When children continuously question or doubt themselves, it can lead to negative emotions and a distorted self-image. There’s no denying, self-love doesn’t always come naturally to everyone and there are often situations or people that will cause us feelings of insecurity and a lack of self-worth. Over time this lack of self-worth can seriously affect mental wellbeing and even influence our decisions in life, which might not always be the best decisions.

Ways to raise confident kids

So how can we pass on the positive and valuable lessons we have learnt throughout our lives to our children so that they become confident adults? There are many ways that we can teach children self-confidence and although some may seem obvious, there may be some things you can do that perhaps you hadn’t considered.

  • Don’t worry about what other people think – one of the greatest lessons we can learn in life is to not worry too much about what other people think of us. This might seem easier said than done as there are always times when we want a person to like or respect us. However, this sense of fear often prevents us from being our true selves in order to impress others. 
  • Express your emotions  – We are human and we all experience emotions, both positive and negative. Often as children we’re taught to not let anyone see us cry, not get angry or show our fear. Although these kinds of negative emotions can lower our self-esteem, if we supress them, they can do even more long-term damage to our wellbeing. By teaching children to recognise how they’re feeling and understand why they are feeling a certain way, they can gain a clearer perspective on their emotions which will allow them to deal with certain situations in a more positive way.
  • Be honest and true to yourself  – Compromising and pleasing others can be rewarding but when it causes us to be stressed or anxious, it can lead to resentment. Teaching children that it’s okay to speak the truth, as long as it’s in an unoffensive manner, and to choose what’s right for them rather than compromising their happiness to please others is essential.
  • Show both physical and verbal affection  – Children thrive on physical and verbal affection as it reinforces that they are loved and cared for. In turn, this will boost their self-confidence and increase their emotional intelligence so they can deal with life experiences. Children also need to know that they don’t have to achieve something outstanding or be the best at everything to feel worthy of your love. 
  • Make time for them – one of the greatest things we can do for our children is spend quality time with them. If you’re busy, set aside a time when they know they will have your full attention. This doesn’t always have to involve an expensive day out, sometimes they might just want you to spend time colouring with them or reading them a story.

If you're interested in finding out more about the importance of self-love, why not book a place on our FREE webinar 'Overcoming Shame And Learning To Love Yourself' which is taking place on Friday 18 June 2021. Book your free place here >

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