Mother Theresa’s adage could go on to say, “One filled with guilt preaches without preaching, one filled with low self-worth preaches without preaching, fill in the blank…it works for just about anything you struggle with. How we present ourselves to the world is important. And it starts with what we think about ourselves.
We’ve been talking for awhile about the essential characteristics necessary for someone to maintain a high self-esteem, connection to others, the ability to see and appreciate their own uniqueness, a sense of having power over their lives and life decisions, and the presence of positive role models.
Now let’s look at our role in maintaining a positive self-esteem for our children’s sake. What does me having a good self-esteem have to do with my children? Well, pretty much everything, let me explain.
Studies have shown that homes that have certain characteristics in operation in the home generally produce children that have high self-esteem. Do you want to know the number one characteristic? Yep. It’s high parental self-esteem.
What? You mean we can’t just love and encourage our kids and give them permission to be unique? All of that is important, yes, but your children are still going to absorb everything you say and do, as well as those things you don’t say and do. They’re dry sponges eagerly soaking up your example.
Do you feel good about yourself? If you do, it helps your children feel good about themselves in return. Do you embrace your own uniqueness? Ditto for your children. There is no easy way to get around it: Healthy Self-Esteem grows Healthy Self-Esteem. It’s gotta start with us.
The good news is this: The more we actively work to boost our children’s self-esteem, the more it helps boost our own. Whew. Now that feels a bit better, doesn’t it? We don’t have to have all the right answers. We just need to be striving in the right direction.
So, on those days when you feel like scum and want to verbally beat yourself silly, think of your kids. Build them up. Tell them what a great person they are. It’s infectious. Pretty soon you’ll feel better about yourself too, as you watch your child beaming with pride.