101 Ways to Build Self-Esteem in Your Child

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2 101 Ways to Build Self-Esteem in Your Child Introduction What could you give your child that would be more valuable than a strong sense of themselves and their value in the world? If we feel good about ourselves, and who we truly are in our life then anything else that comes into it is simply icing on the cake. People who are happy with who they are tend to lead happy and fulfilling lives. Children are our future, we, as parents, are their guides. Let's all pull together to assist them to be the best they can be for themselves, for us and for the world as a whole. Marilyn Foreman is a parenting coach, teacher, speaker and author. She received her Bachelor of Child Study in 1982 and has been working with parents for over 30 years. For more go to: Copyright Marilyn Foreman

3 Self Esteem Meter The best way to use the tips in this book is to first become conscious of the way you measure self esteem, both in yourself, your child and the people around you. Being a visual sort of person, I see what I call a self-esteem meter. It shows up in body language in the person we are measuring, I can see and feel this meter go up and down in a child depending on how they are affected by their surroundings and the way they are being treated. It shows in how they hold themselves, how they feel about themselves. You can see it in a child who is being reprimanded, they tend to slouch, their eyes lose their glow, they aren t smiling etc. When a child is being praised, they will be smiling, standing tall and have a glow to themselves. It s helpful to find your own way of measuring this. Is it something you can imagine as a picture in your head? Or perhaps it s a feeling in your body? Maybe there s a sound that you can hear: a resonance or a discord that will serve as your self-esteem meter. However it works for you, find your own self esteem meter and learn to read your child s self-esteem levels. Use this tool everyday and watch how the things you do and say affect your child s selfesteem. 3

4 101 Ways to Build Self-Esteem in Your Child Tips for Building Your Child s Self Esteem 1. Be conscious of your child's self esteem meter and the impact you are having on your child in everything you say and do. 2. Honour who your child is right now rather than trying to shape them into someone they're not. 3. Always encourage your child in being themselves. 3. Be aware you are learning from your child as much as teaching them. 4. Be completely present with your child in every moment. 5. Recognize that you and your child are a team. 6. Be completely yourself with your child; they deserve to know the real you, not the person you think you should be. Being yourself is modeling self esteem. Copyright Marilyn Foreman

5 7. Encourage your child to be proud of their successes and to celebrate each one. You being proud is not as important as them being proud of themselves. 8. Strive always to add to your child s self worth. People will come and go in your child's life but they will always have themselves. 9. Support your child through their mistakes. After all a mistake is only a mis-take. Remind them that they can always do that take over again. 10. Always work together toward feeling great about yourselves. 11. Keep your past out of the present. Your past experiences and perspectives have no bearing on who your child is right now. 12. Listen, with an intention to understand, before you answer your child. Truly listen to them, rather than planning what you re going to say next. 13. Look for the best in your child and you will always find it. 5

6 101 Ways to Build Self-Esteem in Your Child 14. Choose your battles! Ask yourself: Is this worth getting into an argument about? Does it really matter? If not, just let it go. If it does matter, then work together on a solution. Feel good about your actions. 15. Make every moment a teaching moment. You may be the teacher or your child may be the teacher. 16. Be open to new possibilities and teach your child to be open as well. 17. Interact with your child, don t react. Reacting is re-acting, or acting out something that has happened in the past. You don t want something from your past to affect who your child is right now! 18. Aim for win-win situations. When you make sure your child is winning by you raising their self esteem, then you are winning as well. 19. Teach your child discipline not punishment. Discipline is teaching your child how to have a plan for themselves, and how to stick to their plan to reach for their success. Copyright Marilyn Foreman

7 20. Listen to your child without teaching them anything, sometimes that's all they need. 21. Support your child in what they require to be their best. 22. Parent with love. If you re angry, Stop! Step away! Take a few deep breaths. Love yourself so you can love your child. 23. Raise your child s self esteem with everything you say and do, it will raise your self-esteem in turn. 24. Be okay with your mistakes. You are human so you will make mistakes! It s how you handle your mistakes that your children will remember and learn from. 25. Children are magical, if you are willing to look. If you are looking for greatness, they will share that part of themselves with you. 26. Always communicate clearly and respectfully with your child and they will do the same. 7

8 101 Ways to Build Self-Esteem in Your Child 27. Enjoy every stage and phase your child goes through. They will try out many versions of themselves before they find out who they are. Enjoy the transitions. They will remember the respect you had for them. 26. Teach your child how to be heard in the world. Sometimes children are not heard or taken seriously. Teach them how to be respected and heard so they can share themselves with an open world. 27. Embrace the moments when you just don t know the answer. Teach your child that it s okay to not know something. Knowing they don t have to be perfect allows them to try new things and then feel good about their accomplishments. 28. Empowering your child will empower you. Don't listen to anything or anyone who puts you or your child down. Have zero tolerance for destructive criticism, it only does harm. Always lift up your child and yourself. 29. Be clear in your expectations. If your child doesn t understand what you want, it s unreasonable to expect them to be successful. Be clear and be understanding. Copyright Marilyn Foreman

9 30. Remind your child to always treat themselves with honour and respect. 31. Enjoy every moment. Before you know it they are grown up. Make every moment a memory you ll both smile at for many years. Being part of a great relationship makes you and your child feel good about yourselves. 32. Don't fall into the belief that any stage is difficult or you will prove yourself right. Your child is growing and changing, honour who they are and what they re going through in every stage. 33. Follow your instincts, so your child learns to follow theirs, our instincts are very important, we need to trust them. 34. Take chances. Take risks. Teaching your child that taking chances frees them up to always try new things and can lead them to great success. Make mistakes and love every moment of the journey. 35. Teach your child that anything is possible and every moment is precious. Then they will always appreciate where they are and what they re doing. 9

10 101 Ways to Build Self-Esteem in Your Child 36. Having to be right means you're making your child wrong. Is it worth the damage you re doing to your child s self esteem? 37. Your dreams and expectations are yours and yours alone. Share them with your child but don't expect them to accomplish them for you. 38. Face it, you re perfectly imperfect! That s exactly as it should be. Revel in that. It s very freeing. Teach your child that it s okay to be imperfect. 39. Be the adult in your relationship. As the parent, you have the power to make or break your child s self image. Make conscious choices. 40. Be your child s cheerleader and support system while you teach them to be their own cheerleader. 41. Enjoy this moment and always create something new. Your past doesn t have anything to do with the present moment. Your child is not growing up the way you did, so don t compare. Create new memories and experiences. Copyright Marilyn Foreman

11 42. Be aware of your anger. If you're angry with your child, it is your anger and it really has nothing to do with them. 43. Ask yourself, How is my behaviour affecting my child s selfesteem in this moment? If their self-esteem is high, so is yours as a parent. 44. Be understanding with yourself and allow yourself to learn from your mistakes. Just like your child, you don t make mistakes on purpose. Be compassionate. 45. Remember you are always teaching, always listening, always learning. 46. Learn from your child. Your child is closer than you are to their purity and innocence. Listen with love to what they re saying. It can be very profound and even change your life if you can hear it. 47. Conquer your fear, not your child. If you re angry right now, what are you afraid of? Anger often stems from fear: fear for their safety, fear about your success as a parent. None of this has anything to do with your child. 11

12 101 Ways to Build Self-Esteem in Your Child 48. Create magic. 49. Help your child through their anger. If your child is angry, don t react to it. Simply know that they are coming from some sort of fear and help them work through it. 50. Watch your language. What impact are your words having on your child? What are they actually hearing? 51. Know your value. No one can diminish who you are unless you let them. Value yourself so your child will learn to value themselves. 52. Learn your child's language as you teach them yours. Communication goes both ways. 53. Learn from your mistakes or you ll have made them for nothing. Mistakes are not a failure but an opportunity for learning. Teaching your child that by example is priceless. 54. Model integrity, honesty, compassion, and kindness to your child. These four things are the roots of gratitude and generosity. Copyright Marilyn Foreman

13 55. Make your home a safe place for your child and they will always come to you for help. Everyone needs a safe place. Be that for your child. 56. Is being right worth the cost of your self esteem, your child s self esteem and the quality of your relationship with your child? 57. Listen to your child without having anything else on your mind. Be completely with them and you will experience the magic of who they are and what they can create. Be open to their magic. 58. Let go of regrets. They are a waste of time. Instead honour and appreciate your learning process. Continue to try new things. From this, your child will learn to stay open to a world of possibilities. 59. Respect your child. Listen to them. Ask their opinion. Offer them advice and support their choices. See the joy that they are. 60. Make a conscious choice right now to be the best you can be! It's your choice to make in every minute. 61. Trust your child and they will learn to trust themselves. 13

14 101 Ways to Build Self-Esteem in Your Child 62. Empower your child. Is what you re saying right now lowering your child s self esteem or building your child s self esteem? 63. Follow your instincts, if what you re doing doesn t feel right then it s not right. 64. Regularly take your child out for a date; for tea, dessert, a meal, a special time: Just the two of you. 65. Remember your child is highly tuned in to you. Your thoughts affect them. Always send loving thoughts their way. They will hear it and feel it and it will show in who they are. 66. Read a book with your child. Talk about it. Ask questions and truly listen to their thoughts and opinions. 67. Let go of everything you think you know. It usually gets in the way of what is really needed. Follow the love you have for your child to get where you need to be. 68. Be your greatest cheerleader so your child will be theirs as well. Copyright Marilyn Foreman

15 69. Create your future with your child. Our children are the future. What kind of future do we want? It s up to the two of you to create. Then spread the joy. Set the example for other parents to follow. 70. Stop, look, listen and love. Stop when you re upset. Look at what s really going on. Listen to what your child is really saying with their actions, their body language and their voice. Love them so you can both learn. 71. Be creative with your child. Parenting is a creative process. Punishment is a loss of that creativity. 72. Work with your child to find solutions. Parenting is all about you and your child. Work together to find what's best for both of you. 73. Remember children learn what they see. If you respect yourself, they will learn to respect themselves, and isn t that what you want for your child? 74. Remember, in every moment that you are the adult. If you are acting like a child, then you are expecting your child to be the adult. They don t have the tools or the knowledge to do that. Be the adult. 15

16 101 Ways to Build Self-Esteem in Your Child 75. Respect your child s requests. Is what your child asking for important to them? When children keep pushing to get their way, they are learning how to create their own reality. Don't automatically say no. Work with them. 76. Respect means loving who your child is. Self respect means loving who you are. 77. See the wonder of who your child really is and who they would like to be. Guide them there with love and respect. 78. Teach your child to know what they want. Your child is trying to learn independence. Support them in reaching their goals. 79. Show your child how to make things happen for themselves by modeling it yourself. Follow your dreams so they learn to follow theirs. 80. Be open to learning. When you feel helpless in your parenting, you may blame your child for making you face things you would rather ignore. Instead, appreciate your child for bringing it to the surface, then deal with the situation, not your child. Copyright Marilyn Foreman

17 81. Think about the future: in 5 years what will you and your child remember, the great times or the bad? In every moment, what kind of memory are you creating? 82. Teach your child the importance of listening to their instincts. Help them trust their own intuition. Trust yours. Trust theirs. 83. True listening means being focused and present with your child throughout every interaction. 84. Try something new, make mistakes. Show your child how it's done. Let them make mistakes. Enjoy the adventure. 85. Truly listen to your child. They speak to you in many different ways. 86. Teach your child to think so far out of the box that anything can happen. Teach them the wonder of magic and the magic of wonder. 87. Teach your child by modeling empowering behaviour. Be the very best you can be. 17

18 101 Ways to Build Self-Esteem in Your Child 88. Model the true meaning of success. There is no such thing as failure unless you believe there is. No matter what you do, you are successful because you did it. 89. Teach your child to love themselves more than anyone else in the world. When they love themselves, they have everything they need to love another. 90. Weigh the consequences of your actions. What do you, the awesome parent you are, want to get out of every situation? How can you achieve your goal? 91. Teaching your child tolerance and understanding. It s the greatest gift you can give them and the world. Show your child how it s done by how you treat them and the people around you. 92. Turn every situation around to be positive. If your child has presented you with a challenge, find a way to turn it into a learning opportunity. Have fun with it! Make it a bonding moment. 93. Teach your child that they deserve to have everything they want in life and they will start to make it happen. Copyright Marilyn Foreman

19 94. Teach your child how to make decisions. Help them gather all the information they need and support them in whatever they choose to do. 95. Talk yourself through your anger and get to the other side of it. Set that example for your child. It will give your child permission to be angry rather than bottling it up and will show them how to work through it. 96. Be aware of when you are controlling your child. What is your intent behind your actions? Is it worth the damage you are doing to your relationship and their self-esteem? Love them and help them to grow. 97. Assist your child to see themselves as wonderful beings who are here to make a difference. 98. Learn magic from your child. Your child is an expert when it comes to magic. So were you once. Rather than teaching them reality, let them re-teach you about the magic of childhood. 99. Be open to learning in every moment. What your child has to say is important. Listen and learn. 19

20 101 Ways to Build Self-Esteem in Your Child 100. Be understanding and help your child put their problems into words. When your child is acting out, they are speaking to you in the only language they know. Listen, understand, and help them work through it Listen to the truth that comes out of your child s mouth. When you assume that what your child is saying is the absolute truth, you start to hear them in a completely different way and will begin to understand what they are really telling you. Be honest with yourself, Be true to your kids Enjoy every moment. Copyright Marilyn Foreman

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