Lets face it, we are all human and all fall sort in the parenting game. Sometimes the list of “shoulds” seems daunting and impossible to live up to, because it is.
Parenting is not about perfection it is about relationship and teaching, two things that are messy and come with lots of mistakes.
The purpose of these is not to heap guilt on you or add to an already overwhelming parenting check list, it is shed light in a few areas you might not have thought about.
We often times get so caught up in the daily struggles that we forget about continuing our goal of improvement and modeling progress instead of perfection for our kiddos. These red flags were taken from Dr. Dobson’s book Hide and Seek and when avoided can help your child’s self-esteem take flight instead of plummet.
I am sure there are more Self-Esteem Killers To Protect Your Child From, but here are a few that we can tackle.
1. Parental Insensitivity
Children understand and pick up so much more than what we give them credit for. A huge lesson for parents to learn is to filter what they say when their children are around. Children grow and bloom when they hear positive things about them but shrink and wilt when overhearing negative. “Sensitivity is the key word. It means “tuning in” to the thoughts and feelings of our kids, listening to the cues they give us and reacting appropriately to what we detect there.”
2. Fatigue and Time Pressure
Children do not fit into our list of things to we are trying to accomplish for the day very well. In fact some times they are even able to obliterate our list. It takes time and patience to be an effective parent when children are small and many times are lives our so “busy” we create stress and time pressures. So often “crowed lives produce fatigue-and fatigue produces irritability and irritability produces indifference and indifference can be interpreted by the child as a lack of genuine affection and personal esteem.” Prioritize your time now. Minimize those “time spenders” like social media, tv, movies, or anything that puts you and your family on auto pilot. Pick carefully the commitments you agree to and allow your children to agree to. Quality time spent together is huge in your child developing a healthy self-esteem.
Guilt takes the joy out of parenting, makes parents become too permissive, and child can sense something is not right and might conclude it is their fault. “The best way to handle guilt is to face it squarely, using it as a source of motivation for change, where warranted.” None of us are perfect parents or will ever be but as long as we keep doing the best we can and moving in the right direction our children will reap the rewards.
4. Rivals for Love
Having multiple children is such a blessing but also a challenge. Each child needs to feel special and loved. A healthy way to address this issue is to acknowledge the child’s feelings and help them verbalize them. Let them have special privileges that only big kids can have like a park outing or a fun ride. Be consistent and fair.
You are doing a great job at this parenting game! Keep moving forward and enjoy the time you have with your kids.