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Be Consistent, Issue #005-- Ways to Improve Self Esteem
August 08, 2008
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Consistent Parenting

 I'd love that!

In Be Consistent this month:

1. Ways to Improve Self Esteem
2. Don't do it for them!
3. Articles on Self Esteem
4. Parenting News
5. Quote of the month

Ways to Improve Self Esteem

This month I want to look at Self Esteem and children. This is another contentious issue and one that again provokes interesting and varied responses from parents. 

There are numerous sites on the World Wide Web about self esteem....most are linked to themes about self confidence, self respect and assertiveness.

I personally recommend this site:  Life with confidence

How do we boost self esteem in our children?

When I was growing up, it was common practice to prevent a child from 'getting a swelled head' or thinking too highly of themselves.  I remember my father telling me that it was time he "pulled the rug out from under me before I thought too highly of myself".  Remarkably, I would have been about eight at the time!

Parents regularly brought children down to size by reminding them not to boast about their achievements.  In today's climate of boosting children's sense of self on every occasion, it seems strange to remember how often children were undercut.  A poor sense of self is the obvious response to this kind of treatment, and unfortunately this is very often the case for today's parents.  

It is difficult, therefore, for many parents to lead by example when it comes to boosting their child's self esteem.  Often parents are completely unaware that the level of their own self esteem is low.  

Parenting brings wonderful opportunities to repair our own spirit as we teach our children these wonderful values for life.

Don't do it for them!

One of the greatest gifts we can give to our children is an awareness, as their parents, of creating opportunities for our children to develop a strong self image.

Boosting self esteem by telling them they are great kids is no substitute for gaining this knowledge through their own personal experience.  

Knowing for yourself, rather than because you have been told, is powerful and creates inner strength and resilience.

Encourage regular exposure to new and unfamiliar places and activities so that children learn to master new situations.

Give your children opportunities for responsibility.

Step back and allow them to experience consequences and failure AS WELL AS success.  This way your children will learn who they are, what their strengths are, and where they could improve.

Constant Success

I don't believe we are doing our children any favors by creating a mirage of constant success in their young lives.  This brings a false sense of esteem - one that comes from outside of themselves rather than being strongly rooted and anchored in a firm, intuitive inner knowing.

Life can be tough and unfair and this is what your children will experience for themselves when they are grown.  Help them to be more realistic with their expectations by having their self esteem firmly rooted in a strong, experiential inner knowing.

Here are some articles about different aspects of Self Esteem and Children:

Self Esteem

Ways to Improve Self Esteem

Low Self Esteem Signs in Children

Healthy Self Image

Parenting News

   By Bilingualbaby.
I’ve been thinking a lot about consistency lately. I think it’s because I’ve been going back and forth on my “nursing break”. I haven’t been called any names for changing my mind on the “break” but I do know that in society there’s a common belief that if you aren’t consistent with your children you won’t have any control over them.

In my mind, I think that my lack of consistency with this nursing break is showing bilingual baby that where feelings are involved, you make concessions. Just because you said “no” once doesn’t mean it’ll be that way for eternity, because things always change. I suppose I’d rather her learn that lesson than learn to be stubborn and fixed in thought.

Human beings are so capable of change it would be a pity to model a life of “unchangeability”.

Rethinking Consistency

by Scott Noelle, posted on 2006-07-06

Conventional parenting wisdom states that parents need to “be consistent” in order to maintain their authority.

Flexible parents — those who are willing to take in new information and adjust course on the fly — are given labels like wishy-washy, spineless, jellyfish, waffling, and that shame of shames: permissive!

But isn’t flexibility a virtuous trait? Isn’t flexibility needed to thrive in the complex, fast-changing world of the 21st century?

So if somebody suggests that you should be more “consistent,” tell them you are being consistent…

  • I’m consistently flexible.
  • I’m consistently following my heart.
  • I’m consistently trusting my instincts.
  • And my love is consistently unconditional.

Quote of the month:

Children are unpredictable.  You never know what inconsistency they're going to catch you in next.  ~Franklin P. Jones

Many thanks to those of you who have taken the time to share your comments and experiences - it is always appreciated and much of what you share is incorporated into the web site.

Parenting is very much a shared experience, and nowadays the Internet means that happens more easily than ever before!

That's all for this month - Cheers everyone.

Don't forget to keep in touch

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