Does your child’s self-esteem rise and fall? Is the way they feel about themselves dramatically impacted by circumstances and events happening outside of them?
For example: Does your child’s self-esteem rise and fall depending on who played with him or her that day at school?
Does your child’s self-esteem crumble if he or she makes a mistake?
Do they get down on themselves if they don’t do as well as they hoped with something such as receiving a low grade as school.
If so, then your child is suffering from yo-yo self-esteem — self-esteem that rises and falls with the ups and downs of life.
How kids feel about themselves often depends on what is going on in their life – what is going on outside of them.
However, powerful self-esteem isn’t based on what is going on outside of you (what is happening in your life at any given moment). Powerful self-esteem is based on what is going on inside of you — who you are and how you think about yourself — regardless of what happens outside of you.
When kids base their self-esteem on “who they are” then their self-esteem remains intact no matter what is going on in their lives.
So how can we help them shift from external focus to internal focus?
Here are three tips for helping your kids develop solid self-esteem that doesn’t rise and fall with the ups and downs of life:
- Understand what self-esteem is. Teach them that self-esteem is based on who they are, not what they do.
- Learn to separating result of an external event from who they believe they are. For example, if they fail a test, that is just an event – something that happened. Just because they failed that particular test, doesn’t mean they are a failure. It’s ok to feel down; however, there is a significant difference between feeling disappointed about a bad grade and feeling down on themselves because of a bad grade.
- Understand the dangers of comparison. When kids compare themselves to others – seeing themselves as “better than” or “less than” another, they are looking externally to determine how to feel about themselves. This sets them up for yo-yo self-esteem because they will feel good about themselves whenever they see themselves as “better than” another and they will feel bad about themselves every time they see themselves as “less than” another. This not only crushes self-esteem, but also creates jealousy, resentment, and a belief system of “I am not good enough”.
Unfortunately self-esteem isn’t something we can just give our kids; however, it is something we can teach them to develop in themselves.
Start today by sharing these three tips with them. In the next week’s newsletter we will share more tips for developing strong self-esteem.
If you haven’t already please join our growing group of like-minded parents and carers where you will find more ideas, tips, tools and support.
Together we can help them discover their own power, sooner rather than later.