Preteen Self-Esteem Is A Direct Reflection Of How A Child Feels About Himself Or Herself And Affects How They Respond To The Setbacks And Difficulties Of Life
“How beautiful is youth!
How bright it gleams with its illusions, aspirations, dreams!
Book of beginnings, Story without End,
Each maid a heroine, and each man a friend!"
Henry W. Longfellow (1819-1892)
Preteen Self-Esteem is an indispensible quality that will aid our youth in knowing who they are, what they can do and become, and that they are worthy of love, happiness and success independent of what anyone else may think or feel about them.
With such a feeling of worth and confidence your child is destined to succeed and be happy in life.
Self-Esteem is important to all people everywhere, for it helps to liberate us from the influences and opinions of others and helps us to be comfortable with who we are and what we have to offer.
So though the following is directed specifically at how parents can help their Preteens understand, obtain and benefit from having a healthy dose of Preteen Self-Esteem, the principles are universal and apply to us all.
Preteen Self-Esteem is the feeling that we can handle life’s ups and downs and that we are inherently worthy of being happy and loved.
It is a feeling of confidence based on positive and successful experiences that show us we are good at many things and can accomplish those things we work hard at doing.
With a positive self-image and experiences of accomplishment, Preteen Self-Esteem builds upon itself and reinforces itself.
Parents would do well to focus on the concept of their child being inherently worthy of happiness and love in their efforts to instill self-esteem into the lives of their children.
Positive Adolescent Parenting is to teach your children that they were born with a divine spark that is of infinite worth: Love and Happiness is not something we have to earn or be worthy of, it is literally the birth-right of every human being.
Open your Preteen’s mind to the concept that they were born to be loved and to be happy. Help them to see this as their natural right, no more or no less than that of everyone else’s natural right.
Teaching your child their worth and dignity by simply being human (full of infinite potential and boundless potential) will train their minds to view themselves as inherently worthwhile.
This in turn will immunize them from the thought that they need to do or be anything in particular to be worthy.
Your child will not feel the need to seek outside approval for their feelings of self-worth, even during the often confusing times of change known as Puberty, if this lesson is communicated to your Tween with clarity.
If you can teach this one lesson to your child then Preteen Self-Esteem is practically second nature to a person armed with this knowledge and insight.
Having Preteen Self-Esteem helps your child to see setbacks in life as temporary and not permanent, and makes children much more resilient and capable in the face of life’s challenges.
Clown Fish - © JonF119
Preteen Self-Esteem, like most if not all things in life, needs to be firmly grounded in the truth in order for it to take root and be an asset in our lives.
All good things grow well in the ground of truth.
Lies and deception make for very poor soil and even worse building material, and that is why we emphasize so strongly the importance of being truthful in your relationship and interactions with your children.
Children do grow up and finally figure out truth from error, and parents always want to be on the right side of that equation on the day their children finally and clearly make that connection.
So praise your child for the things they do well, and be honest in your assessment and praise.
If your child swims well, then compliment them and help them feel good about one of the many things they do well.
If they don’t swim well then don’t tell them that they do. Children know what they do well and what they don’t do well and will learn not to believe what you say if you compliment them in ways that are not accurate or sincere.
Help your child to understand that we all make mistakes and all fall short in some aspects of life – Nobody is perfect.
Help them to see this fact of life as normal and understandable and they will learn not to have unreasonable expectations about themselves, and hence will not suffer a lack of confidence when they realize that they can’t do all things well.
Preteen Self-Esteem is very much a part of knowing who you are and being comfortable with the results.
We can’t all be the most beautiful, or the smartest in the class, or the fastest in the race, or the funniest with a joke.
But we all have something we are good at, and we can all be kind, and polite, and helpful, and we can all help the world to be a better place in our own unique and wonderful way.
When parents arm their children with this kind of understanding, they can’t help but have children brimming with self-confidence and tolerance for themselves and those around them.
Helping your child like who they are, independent of what anyone else may think of them, is one of the greatest gifts any parent can give to their children.
Dancing - © Jeremybarwick
Since the topic of Preteen Self-Esteem is as expansive as life itself, let me leave you with a few suggestions for immediate and practical parental application to get you thinking of ways you can help your child in this most important topic today.
And remember, the earlier you start and the more consistent and natural your message, the better for you and your children.
Helpful Ideas To Foster Preteen Self-Esteem
• Pay attention to your child when they have something to tell you, even if you have heard it all a hundred times before. This will help them feel valuable, validated and worthy
• Allow your child to make age-appropriate decisions on their own so they gain confidence in their decision making abilities
• Allow your children to make mistakes and learn from them. Parents who over-protect their children or who seek to insulate their children from the consequences of their poor choices are preventing their children from growing and learning from the mistakes their children are doomed to repeat later in life since they weren’t allowed to learn from them the first time around
• Provide your children with many avenues to feel respect, self-worth and accomplishment by involving them in sports, music, gardening, or any worthwhile activity they can learn to do well and enjoy doing
• Help your children view set-backs and defeats as temporary learning-blocks to eventual success through persistence and repeated effort. Nothing builds Preteen Self-Esteem as well as succeeding at something that was difficult, but not impossible, to do (appropriate with the child’s age and abilities)
• Start teaching your child at an early age the building blocks that lead to self-esteem
• Be unconditional in your love and support of your child
• Be forgiving of yourself and others, so your children will learn how to forgive themselves when the time and need arises
Harmful Elements To Preteen Self-Esteem
• Dwelling on Weaknesses and Imperfections
• Judging your children against unreasonable standards or expectations of who you want them to be, and not on who they naturally or inherently are
• Giving praise to your child for things they don’t do well or where the praise is not honestly warranted
• Focusing too much on your child’s looks. True worth is never a measure of appearance, no matter how desirable that quality is to us all. To focus too much on your child’s looks would mean that should something happen to mar or disfigure those looks, your child’s self-esteem and sense of worth would disappear with their looks
• Doing too much for your child. Children learn by doing, and Preteen Self-Esteem is a direct result of knowing they can do many things for themselves
• Putting conditions on your love and acceptance of your child. This will lead your child to feel they must please you or others to be loved and accepted, and will likely doom your child to this form of servitude and dependence on the opinions of others for the rest of their life
There is a lot more parenting wisdom to share. Here is another Preteen Self-Esteem thought: Be the parent who gives your child an unshakable understanding of their true and inherent self-worth, based on the knowledge that no-one is perfect yet all are invaluable and remarkably important in their own right.
Be the parent who helps their Preteen to believe in himself or herself with confidence, joy and a sure belief in their current and future happiness at any time, for any reason, over and over again.
Healthy Preteen Self-Esteem Starts From An Early Age And Is Built On A Feeling Of Confidence And Assurance That Comes From Knowing They Are Capable Of Doing Many Things Well.
Who They Are And What They Think REALLY Does Matter!
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