Finally, we must provide positive reinforcement for our children. Everyone likes a pat on the back, recognition, strokes, praise or affirmation of his or her ability, goodness and worthiness. Our children have not yet formed images of themselves and need these positive inputs even more than adults. Children are not sure if they are able or not. They are small in such a large world. They are learning and thus making many mistakes as they try to learn how to do things correctly.
In our attempt to help our children we often tend to point out their mistakes more frequently than their successes. The mistakes are what are more obvious and thus we feel the need to point them out. The successes are taken for granted. We over-emphasize what our children do wrong. This undermines their sense of ability, and they start to doubt whether they can really succeed.
Thus they become preoccupied, worrying about whether they will be able to do it, and whether they will be criticized damaging their self esteem. Thus little energy is left for focusing on what they are actually doing so that they can do it correctly and succeed. Then, if our children’s performance suffers, we become even more critical. This creates a vicious circle in which our children’s sense of ability, success and worthiness is completely undermined.
So, the easy thing to say is just “Don’t do this”. If you find yourself overly criticizing a child or yelling berating comments at them, take a moment, count to 10 and think of a healthier way to address the situation. They will be better for it – and so will you! Self Esteem Baby. What about that huge area that is especially difficult to deal with? It’s bound to happen, but don’t let it swallow you! Criticism can be given and accepted graciously without affecting your self esteem.
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