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12 Ways to help your child build self-confidence
Monday, 07 May 2018 00:00

Building self-confidence in your child

Self-esteem is your child’s passport to lifetime mental health and social happiness. It’s the foundation of a child’s well-being and the key to success as an adult. At all ages, how you feel about yourself affects how you act. Think about a time when you were feeling really good about yourself. You probably found it much easier to get along with others and feel good about them.

Self-image is how one perceives oneself. The child looks in the mirror and likes the person he sees. He looks inside himself and is comfortable with the person he sees. He must think of this self as being someone who can make things happen and who is worthy of love. Parents are the main source of a child’s sense of self-worth.
Lack of a good self-image very often leads to behavior problems. Most of the behavioral problems that I see for counseling come from poor self-worth in parents as well as children. Why is one person a delight to be with, while another always seems to drag you down? How people value themselves, get along with others, perform at school, achieve at work, and relate in marriage, all stem from strength of their self-image.
Healthy self-worth doesn’t mean being narcissistic or arrogant, it means having a realistic understanding of one’s strengths and weaknesses, enjoying the strengths and working on the problem areas. Because there is such a strong parallel between how a person feels about himself and how a person acts, helping your child build self-confidence is vital to discipline.

Throughout life your child will be exposed to positive influences builders and negative influences breakers. Parents can expose their child to more builders and help him work through the breakers.

1. PRACTICE ATTACHMENT PARENTING

Put yourself in the place of a baby who spends many hours a day in a caregiver’s arms, is worn in a sling, breastfed on cue, and her cries are sensitively responded to. How do you imagine this baby feels?

This baby feels loved; this baby feels valuable. Ever had a special day when you got lots of strokes and showered with praise? You probably felt like queen for a day and hopefully you behaved accordingly. The infant on the receiving end of this high-touch style of parenting develops self-worth. She likes what she feels.

Responsiveness is the key to infant self-value. Baby gives a cue, for example, crying to be fed or comforted. A caregiver responds promptly and consistently. As this cue-response pattern is repeated many hundreds, perhaps thousands, of times during the first year baby learns that her cues have meaning: “Someone listens to me, therefore, I am worthwhile.” A stronger self emerges.

 

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Is Your Child Being Bullied?
Saturday, 07 April 2018 00:00

9 Steps You Can Take as a Parent

We all know too well, name–calling, cruel taunts, cyberbullying and physical bullying happen every day to kids across the country.

When your child is being bullied, it’s hard to concentrate on anything else—all you want to do is make it stop immediately. Janet Lehman, MSW explains what you can do to help your child—and what could hurt them in the long run.

At some point, your child will be picked on or will have his feelings hurt by others. We all have our trials and tribulations with our kids, no matter who we are. An unavoidable part of living is finding solutions to problems, even when they are not easy or comfortable.

In my opinion, bullying is a real problem that needs to be solved as a family. Our son was bullied in middle school and high school. We lived in a small rural community where he went to elementary school; the teachers were very aware of all the kids and very attentive. In some ways it was an ideal school. Unfortunately, they had no junior high or high school in our community, so we had to make the choice to send our son to a large urban school nearby.

Soon, he started to come home with some very disturbing stories about how other kids were teasing him, calling names and taunting him. These children didn’t have any clear reason why they were bullying our son other than he was the new kid; he was perceived as being different. Our son would come home each day with terrible stories about things that had happened. My husband, James, and I tried hard not to react too strongly when he talked to us. We did not want to seem too upset about it, because we really wanted to listen to what our child had to say without making it worse by over–reacting. We tried to remain as neutral as possible, but we were not always successful. Our son was upset and depressed, and it broke our hearts.

How to parent effectively in difficult times.

Over time we were able to resolve these issues as a family, but I want to stress that it didn’t happen overnight, much as we wanted it to. It took a lot of work with both the school and our son to find a solution to the problem. Along the way, we learned some valuable lessons that I believe played a big part in resolving the issue for our son.

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