Colbie Caillat, “Try”.
You don't have to try so hard.
You don't have to, give it all away.
You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up.
You don't have to change a single thing.
Take your make-up off.
Let your hair down.
Take a breath.
Look into the mirror, at yourself.
Don't you like you?
'Cause I like you.
Having great self esteem or a positive self concept is our birthright, however that may not be our reality. The way that we see ourselves is developed during our childhood, and if we didn’t receive the right type of nurturing, we may not feel as confident as we would like to as adults.
If you do have a child, there are many things that you can do to help them grow into confident and happy adults. As a parent, teacher, or other significant adult, giving consistent positive feedback, both verbally and non-verbally, is the most important thing that we can do for a child’s well-being.
If children are not raised with a consistent demonstration of unconditional love they may have low-self esteem, which can even follow them into adolescence and adulthood.
Children need attention and applause not just around what they do but around who they are. Words like “you’re so loveable, I love spending time with you” are some examples. This lets children know that they are valued, no matter what type of behavior they are exhibiting.
A lot of the new research suggests that one way to build self-esteem is to let older kids know that our love is unconditional, not based on their behavior at school or otherwise.
If a child has received consistent positive feedback when young, once they are older, we can find other ways to encourage good self esteem. One way to do this is not to praise for something that we think of as “good” behavior, but instead to let the child know that their own opinion is valid.
For instance, instead of only saying “what a great painting”, we can also ask questions about the painting, perhaps pointing out “I see that you used a lot of blue in this painting. Can you tell me more about that?”
These types of questions encourage the child to become secure in their own beliefs and opinions, and not to be dependent only upon our praise before they can feel good about an activity or accomplishment.
Another part of unconditional love is actually telling our children that we love them, no matter what. This may sound simple, but how often does it sound like we only love them when they get good grades, or when they share their toys, or pick up clutter in their room?
We know that we love them all of the time, “good” or “bad”, and we need to let them know. We want to make sure that we are praising the effort and the child. For instance, “I see that you worked very hard on this, this is great.”