For Every Child Who Believes in Themselves, There Are Parents Who Believed in Them First
We give our children wings when we believe in them. When we trust in their dreams and what they’ll be able to do, they can fly.
That’s why we must play the role of mentors, dream-makers. Parents must understand that one day their child will follow their example and not their advice.
Children need to know that, despite how hard life can be, they can achieve whatever they want.
Therefore, if your little one has doubts, if hard times are putting a dent in their self-esteem and you don’t know how to help, they just need to see that everything they need is inside them.
Self-regulated learning and emotional intelligence
It could be said that the cornerstone of emotional intelligence is self-regulated learning. This means that the strategies a child manages to develop will lead to greater internal well-being. And therefore, a better understanding of their own and others’ emotions.
Emotional competencies predict the life success of our children more reliably than academic performance. Still, this reasoning doesn’t mean that good social-emotional performance is more important than academics.
If we stop to think, we’ll see that our children and young people are immersed in formal education for practically the entire first 18 years of their lives.
It’s a fact that can’t be ignored. Their emotional growth happens in school. They usually spend more time in school or doing homework than in the park.
That’s why a child must learn to reflect and identify their strengths and weaknesses. That’s why it’s essential to help them deal with the feelings generated by not understanding something, not being able to concentrate, not knowing how to solve problems, etc.
If children know how to regulate their learning well, it will be an active, constructive process. And it’s reasonable to want our children to know how to monitor, regulate and control their thoughts in order to be able to reach their goals.
If a child believes they can learn multiplication tables, they will succeed. But to have that belief they need encouraging messages from external sources. Especially from his parents, siblings, grandparents and teachers.
This is, in essence, what we know in psychology as the “Pygmalion Effect“. That is, the expectations we transmit are a determining factor in whether they will achieve their goals. And even more so when parents and teachers are the most important adults in a child’s life.
We’re not talking about a magical “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. We’re talking about not cutting off their wings. Instead, teaching them to fly and that there’s not one right way to do things.
While the educational system “forces” them to arrive at a result in a certain way, what they have to understand is that experimentation is indispensable for learning.
Every day, boys and girls, parents and teachers understand that although we have to teach our little ones to follow some academic norms, outside of these you can also paint, write, act, observe, talk … Taking your own path gives confidence and this is always accompanied by perseverance.
What can we do to support a child’s self-esteem?
We’re so obsessed with our own self-esteem that we forgot the importance of sowing children’s self-esteem. Still, it’s very important that our children grow up in a world with balanced adults. Really, that’s the best thing that we could give them.
- Speak nicely to them: speaking nicely to our little ones means speaking to them with affection, patience and positivity. If we do, we’ll be showing them a good example and helping them balance their emotions.
- Tell them stories that make them better at introspection. Children should understand that it is of the utmost importance not to forget about what we think, feel and do. Through communication we get knowledge about people (ourselves and others) and things. This makes it easier for us to understand the world in which we live.
- Improve your internal dialogue: This is done by telling yourself nice things about yourself as well as correcting the negative things you say to yourself.
- Praise and do not ridicule: We’re talking about highlighting, reinforcing and recognizing their positive behaviors. Here’s a golden rule: praise in public, criticism in private.
- Help them handle frustration and teach them to be proud of their achievements.
- Make them feel like an important part of the family.
- Avoid overprotecting them and encourage good socialization with their peers.
- Educate by example: Parents should be a good model of self-esteem.
- Encourage mental flexibility to ensure creativity: There are hundreds of ways to do things, let children discover theirs.
- Help them to set goals and be more independent.
- Value their opinions; children shouldn’t think that their opinion does not count. We must take their desires and thoughts into account according to their age. How? By discussing and debating with them, making them feel heard.
We don’t want children who have to be perfect because we don’t want to cultivate pride. We want children who love each other and trust in themselves and their potential. In short, we want them to know that by being themselves, they will always win.