You don’t want your children to think that they are not capable, that they have no talents or that they are inferior when compared to others. That is why it is important to educate our children so that, as the psychologist and author of stories Begoña Ibarrola says, “they grow up knowing that they have a personal power that no one can take away from them”, so that they feel capable, worthy of being loved, unique and valuable.
The experts Begoña Ibarrola, Cristina Gutiérrez and Eva Bach explain to us how to educate so that our children have good self-esteem.
Eva Bach points out that the joy of living, which is the most important, “consists in knowing that you are capable of growing and learning” and it does not consist of always being happy, denying or hiding the troubles of life or thinking that anything is possible. In this way, it seems clear that the joy of living is closely related to having a good self-esteem.
Cristina Gutiérrez, pioneer of emotional education in Spain and director of the Santa María de Palautordera School Farm, recalls that self-esteem could be considered “inner beauty, which must be worked out”. To help our children be aware of their level of self-esteem and what they can do to improve it, proposes the game of the self-esteem thermometer: “It is about pointing out how you have self-esteem today by pointing to a part of the body. If you have it very low, by the feet or the legs, that means that you do not see your strengths because you are too focused on your weaknesses. If you find yourself in that situation, ask yourself a question: What prevents you from believing that you are good at it?
On the contrary, Cristina also believes that “if we have it very high it may be that we have forgotten everything we can improve”. And in this case, he recommends “write your children and you the things to improve. So we teach him that we too have things to improve and nothing happens ”.
Here Cristina gives us keys to help our children improve their self-esteem, which go through positive reinforcement and criticizing their behavior while underlining our unconditional love:
Begoña Ibarrola recalls that “self-confidence is born from the conviction that one is valuable, that one has things to contribute to others ”. And it offers many keys to parents to help our children feel valuable and unique, starting, like Cristina, from “talking to your children about self-esteem, making them see that they have talents and also limitations. And when they face a problem where they feel limited, they have to be reminded of their talents ”. Making positive reviews, making them see that things don’t go well for us the first time but we keep trying and letting them make decisions are some of the keys that Begoña offers us in his great video.
Keys to promoting healthy self-esteem in our children
In summary, if we want to “work” for everyone in the family to grow up with healthy self-esteem, we could apply these keys:
1.- Reflect as a family on self-esteem, on the talents and strengths of each one and the things in which we would like to improve, to recognize ourselves as unique and valuable beings and that we have things to contribute.
2.- Understand the errors and the aspects in which we want to improve as challenges that push us to improve ourselves and learn, and not as evidence that “we are not good enough.”
3.- Do not take love for granted unconditional that we feel for them, make them see that their presence in our lives is important, valuable and a source of enjoyment
4.- Formulate positive criticisms about the behavior, without undervaluing ourselves for inappropriate behavior. It is better to say: “Please, don’t talk to me now because I have to focus on one thing”, than to say: “What a mess! You don’t stop talking! ”. Or it is better to tell them: “I think you know how to tidy up your room better” than to tell them “You are messy, no one enters your room.”
5.- Value effort more than achievements: In their presentation, Francisco Castaño and Pedro Aguado told us about a brilliant experiment carried out by the psychologist Carol Dweck, who proposed two groups of children to perform an exercise with puzzles. He praised one group for being smart for achieving it, and the other for the effort. Those praised for effort were encouraged to take on more complicated challenges and were motivated, those praised for intelligence and for the result preferred to play it safe for fear of losing that rating of intelligent, for fear of error. In conclusion, if you don’t want your children to be afraid of making mistakes and feel less valuable for making mistakes, praise their effort.
6.- Let them make their own decisions and respect their autonomy. We will not tire of saying that overprotecting our children has nothing positive for their self-esteemWell, with the best of intentions, we make them grow up thinking that they can’t, that they don’t know, that mom and dad will do it, that they do know. Let’s think about how we would feel if we had someone behind us watching our steps, warning us of supposed dangers at every step we take or telling ourselves: “stop, I’ll do it now.” We would certainly prefer if they left us a little more to our own devices. Also, to help our children have good self-esteem, it is very interesting encourage them to make decisionsFrom what winter clothes to wear on a cold day, which of the proposed plans you prefer for the holidays or how we propose to solve the morning fights to go to school prepared.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.