How to Cultivate Our Child’s Self-esteem  

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When a grown-up loses self-esteem, the foundation is not that strong. It is therefore important that we cultivate our children’s self-esteem so they can go placidly amidst the chaos and the trouble. When we hear of self-esteem, it refers to a person’s respect for his/her self and their abilities. Other people also understand self-esteem as a satisfaction and confidence in oneself.

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It is safe to say that self-esteem is the armour that can shield our children against the world. If our children know their weaknesses and strengths, they can handle conflicts at the same time shunning negative pressures. For children with low self-esteem, they will find it difficult to avoid anxiety and frustration. As parents, we just want to make sure that our children grow happy, worthy and unafraid.

It is important that we help cultivate self-esteem early on so there can be changes. Once our children reach adulthood with self-esteem issues, it is difficult to help them. Maintaining balanced self-esteem is effective if we start early. Our goal here is to make our children realize their capabilities and maintain a positive perception about their selves.

So, how do we know if our child has low or healthy self-esteem? Well, a person with low self-esteem often speaks about “I’m stupid” or “What’s the point?” A person with healthy self-esteem often speaks of “I do not understand” because only a person who knows their capabilities can say this without belittling others and themselves. They just accept them and move forward.

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If we think our kids have low self-esteem, it is time that we act. Here are some ways to cultivate their self-esteem:

  • Let us be careful of what we say: Children tend to be overly sensitive. With this, we have to be careful of what we say because it might create a lasting effect on them. Let us always remember to give praise instead of constantly pushing them to do even better.
  • Let us be a positive role model: We cannot talk about self-esteem if we are harsh about ourselves. Our children will eventually take after us so it is crucial that we become a positive role model by boosting our self-esteem.
  • Let us be affectionate: Not all parents realize that affection can create a lasting impact. The love that we show to our kids can boost their self-esteem. We should continually give hugs and tell them that we are proud of them no matter what. It is our responsibility to create a loving and safe home environment.

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Ways to Promote Sibling Harmony

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Have you watched the recent movie “Exodus: God’s and King’s”? In the beginning of the film, you will see the two tons of the Pharaoh – Moses and Ramses. Everyone knows that Moses is adopted and that the rightful heir is Ramses. The brothers did not end up loving each other. Their complicated relationship led to plagues, revolts and mass revolt.

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What was their problem? One of their problems is sibling rivalry since the Pharaoh favours Moses more than his real son. Children with brothers and sisters know sibling rivalry. According to a 1979 study by Brian Sutton-Smith and B.G Rosenberg, sibling rivalry is specifically strong between brothers who are close in age. However, a psychologist from Purdue University Victor Cicirelli said that sibling rivalry is not given. There are those brothers or sisters who transcend to the feeling and let it go.

There are parents here in Singapore that sees the rivalry normal and usual. They should be taught otherwise. Rivalry is serious, damaging, unhealthy and brutal. Parents should nip up the rivalry before it escalates. Here are some ways to promote sibling harmony:

  • Make the older sibling feel important: Older brother or sister tend to feel less important especially if a new baby is coming. If this feeling is not resolved, it will lead to a more serious and harmful sibling rivalry. It is crucial that you let your older child feel important despite the new addition.

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  • Make siblings friends before birth: Even if the baby is still in your womb, you have to acquaint the older one and the baby. You can let the older one see the pictures of the baby in your womb and let him/her touch your womb. You can also sit down with the older child and browse through his/her pictures when he/she was a baby.
  • Share your time with your eldest: Though new born babies require a lot of time and energy, it is still not an excuse for you to let your eldest down. It is hard but if you can just share your time with your eldest, things will be better. For example, if you are feeding the youngest, you can cuddle the eldest and read stories.
  • Do things together: Promoting sibling harmony takes a lot of parental guidance. Eldest children are not so keen on sharing their toys and possessions. They consider their parents their important possession and sharing is not a good idea. You can turn it around. Let your eldest have you whenever he/she needs you.

Siblings are not born adversaries. Parents have the power to stop the rivalry before it blots the relationship of the children. For more help, there are many professionals here in Singapore that you can go to.

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