#raisingcapablechildren: S is for Self – How to develop self love and self worth in children?

Posted by

We are slowly getting into the homestretch of the #blogchatterA2Z challenge and have reached the letter S. Once again – thanks for being with me on this journey. Today, let’s talk about S for Self. A sense of self starts developing in children between ages of 2 to 3. Their ability to think of themselves from the point of view of someone else is the start of development of self-concept. Young children’s self esteem is  heavily influenced by parental attitude and behavior. Hence, parents have a very important role to play in developing their children’s self-worth, self-esteem and self-awareness all of which lead to self-confidence, self-love and self-care. Woah! That’s a lot of self!

I don’t think I can stress enough the importance of developing a strong sense of self worth in children. Children with lower self esteem will look at themselves more critically, will find it more difficult to deal with problems and will be more likely to fall prey to stress, anxiety and depression. They may hesitate to try new things, take risks and will usually take issues personally rather than look at situations in an objective way.

Below I am sharing thoughts on how to ensure that your children have a high sense of self worth and also instill in them the importance of self care and self love:

  1. Create a positive emotional bond from infancy: A positive and loving parent child attachment is at the crux of the development of a healthy sense of self. Developing a positive bond starts from birth. Slow down and tune into your baby, understand his reflexes and responses to sound, light and textures. Tune your behavior to his moods, needs and wants. Allow of a lot of hugging and kissing. Babies revel in physical show of love. Play with them, talk to them. All of these will go a long way in developing their sense of worth and a sense of security.
  2. Accept and respect them: children (even adults) need to feel loved and respected by their families, peers and community. We need to ensure non judgmental communication with them – shouldn’t always come across as pointing faults or correcting errors. We also need to accept them fully with their flaws and never make our love conditional to achieving or doing something. We need to let them know that we have their back always. Moreover, their mistakes or errors should be dealt with respectfully, with the help of honest feedback aiming for future improvements rather than berating past performance. Recognition of effort rather than result will help the child overpower their sense of failure, defeat, shame or guilt. Show trust in their capability. Another way of communicating respect is to value their thoughts and opinions. Many adults tend to brush off a child’s viewpoint very easily which gives the message that their view is not valued.
  3. Use positive language: be careful of the language you use when you talk to your children. Labeling them negatively (even in fun or out of love) could affect their self esteem negatively or even reinforce a negative behavior. Calling them lazy or dumb or naughty will only make matters worse. If you are discussing any negative traits of your kids, make sure you do that in private. Constant negative feedback or punitive measures will also decrease the sense of worth in a child.
  4. Give them challenging and meaningful tasks: a child’s sense of self worth will increase if he achieves or accomplishes something that was not easy. A sense of conquering a challenge will contribute much more to a child’s self esteem as compared to an easy task. Similarly, the more meaningful or useful a task, the more pleased a child will be doing it.
  5. Give them responsibilities and empower them:  give your child a chance to show what she is capable of. Allow her to take on tasks and give her enough authority to make her own decisions. These tasks of course need to be age appropriate.
  6. Develop a positive body image: unfortunately, children’s impressions of body image are highly influenced by visuals from television, movies, and advertising. Body image becomes an important factor in determining self esteem as children move into adolescence. For instance, it is very important for teens to know how their peers perceive them. Children with low self esteem will typically assess themselves more critically and have a negative body image – it could be because they feel they have too much acne or that they are over weight or even underweight or not muscular enough and so on. As a parent we must continue to give our children positive messages – compliment them when they look nice but be sure to not put too much focus on looks (how pretty! How handsome!), keep reminding them that our work and behaviour is more important than how we look, use the issue of body image to promote healthy habits. Also be careful about not discussing people and their appearances in front of children (better not to do it at all).
  7. Instill the importance of self care: self care is an all encompassing term that includes physical, emotional, psychological and social aspects of an individual’s well being. We need to start telling children early on that self care is a choice every individual makes for themselves to engage in activities or cultivate habits that promote well being. In primary school children are taught about types of food and how each type contributes to their health. We need to keep reinforcing healthy meals, regular eating habits, exercise and so on from. If these become early habits, children are likely to continue to follow them as adults too.

To sum up, a strong sense of self is important and so is the ability to take care of oneself. As they say, put your own mask first in case of any emergency, it is important that we are physically and emotionally fit in order to take care of our loved ones. Do let me know what you think.

x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x

Thanks so much for reading! Please comment, share and spread the word! Regards, Sakshi aka tripleamommy
You can find me at:
Blog: https://tripleamommy.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tripleamommmyInsta: https://www.instagram.com/tripleamommmy/ FB page: https://www.facebook.com/Tripleamommy-2101887313189940
Pinterest: https://in.pinterest.com/tripleamommmy/
You can buy my book at:

India – Amazon: https://amzn.to/3j3QSrx ; Flipkart: https://www.flipkart.com/raising-capable-children/p/itm2134c13e7108f?pid=9789390267033

For US and UK- https://www.amazon.com/dp/939026703X ; https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/939026703X

Read my other blogs on the series here:

Theme reveal

A is for Aiming High

B is for Being Brave

C is for Courage of Conviction

D is for Discipline

E is for Empathy

F is for Financial Awareness

G is for Gratitude

H is for Honesty

I is for Inclusion

J is for Joy

K is for Knowldege

L is for Language

M is for Magic

N is for Neuro efficient

O is for Observant

P is for Perseverance

Q is for Questioning

R is for Remembering your Roots

20 comments

  1. Yes it is very important to be a role model when it comes to any aspect of parenting. Loved the end msg so much. Agree it is very important to take care of yourself before taking care of our loved ones.

  2. Self worth starts at a very young age. A kid who come to show his/her painting to us and how we react makes. lot of difference in the way s(he) look at himself/herself. Self care can only happen when self worth is there. In its absence, kids cannot pay attention towards self-care as they will not see themselves worthy enough.

  3. When my kids achieve simple goals, they feel really happy and more sure about themselves. I love your posts, and the tips you have been sharing on positive parenting.

  4. Great pointers! It is very important for us to listen and respect the children. Giving them challenging tasks is something I thoroughly believe in

  5. Very well said. I agree being around and having a positive bond surely helps. My kid is a pre teen and she has been thinking about how her friends perceive her. Need to talk to her in a positive way about this.

  6. The world has just recently understood the value of self love. Teaching kids about this will lay a strong foundation of how a child deals with life later in life. Love the tips shared here.

  7. Letting kuds take their own decisions from very early age and appreciation for Everly small effort they take makes a whole lot of difference . They start valuing their self and will have positive self image which will improve their self worth.

  8. I think I’ve seen parents who talk rubbish in front of their kids and the kids learn that. Just yesterday I saw a 12 year old give some bad word while calling out to someone. Sheesh.

  9. As a parent of a promising boy I totally agree on the point that self worth & being responsible should be taught at a very young age. As kids adapt and cope with new things in a better fashion when they are young.

  10. It is essential to bring self love and self confidence in kids. I remember while raising my nephew we taught him to keep himself important and love his own personality.

  11. As a parent it’s our duty to raise kids with a positive outlook towards life. I personally make sure that I am talking in a affirmative tone and encouraging words with my kids as I see that it easily motivates them to do better.

  12. Couldn’t agree more you have rightly mention the importance of instilling self love and self care in kids from the beginning. I also follow the same route of parenting with my child making them responsible by providing equal opportunity is very important.

  13. Absolutely agree that we should teach kids to respect and accept themselves the way they are this does help in building self confidence

  14. I cannot stress enough the importance of parenting in instilling a strong sense of self – worth and self love in our children.This post was really very helpful for me as a parent .

  15. With the kind of social media exposure kids have nowadays, we all know they are open for judgement and how adversely this affects one’s mental health. It is important to teach self love and self care to our little ones 🙂

Leave a Reply to Judy Morris Cancel reply