Today I’m continuing on my quest to seek out information and inspiration about raising kids to have a healthy self-esteem. To the end I’ve asked Martine from The Modern Parent to share her thoughts on the subject. Martine has worked professionally as a teacher, has a part-time photography business and has completed her Masters in Counselling. She writes her blog The Modern Parent to inspire and support parents coping with the struggles of daily parenting. Martine has 4 young boys herself and is a wealth of knowledge on all things parental. So over to Martine.
A healthy body image and subsequent self-esteem can be achieved by implementing many strategies, but must in the end come down to instilling respect and pride in oneself, coupled with an emphasis on embracing ones inner beauty. How do we achieve this? Unfortunately there is no magic formula and each and every child will present themselves with a whole range of unique differences, some more challenging than others. What is important however is to parent our children based on principles of unconditional love and nurturing coupled with boundaries and responsibilities. To do so is to celebrate strengths and wins in order to rejoice, encourage and motivate but also to expose to risk and disappointment in order to build resilience and confidence to try again.
To rejoice in our children’s achievements both small and large, by taking the time to be involved with their interests and encourage their passions we are sending them the message that we care about and place great value in their everyday pursuits. By maintaining boundaries and rules and by giving our children developmentally appropriate responsibilities they learn to respect their parents, respect others and most importantly to respect themselves.
When one is confident in their abilities and in themselves then this pride and respect will better equip them to face the many challenges that present to our children throughout adolescence. It is during this time that our children spend a lot of energy comparing and judging, but if we have provided our children with the tools to withstand the many pressures and expectations, then we are well on the way to ensuring that their self-esteem remains healthy. If we can achieve all this, then we have given our children every chance to avoid the pitfalls of low self-esteem and poor body image and instead appreciate and bestow upon the world, their inner beauty.
Thanks you so much for sharing this Martine. I think it’s a really good point that we need to expose our kids to things which build their resilience as well as unconditional love and support. It makes good sense to ensure they know how to deal with disappointments – as life usually dishes a few of those along the way. I’ll be adding this to my growing list inspiration for raising girls with a healthy self-esteem. Don’t forget you can find Martine’s Blog The Modern Parent here. And if you feel you’d like to contribute with a short guest post on this topic please get in contact with me. So, far we’ve been having some great discussion both here and on facebook.