But building self-esteem in our kids is not always easy. In fact at times it can be quite tricky. This is because self-esteem is something that’s not logical or rational.
People’s relationship to themselves, their self-esteem, how they view themselves, how they value themselves is something that comes from very deep in the subconscious. Essentially it’s the relationship that a person has with themselves.
For us adults, it’s usually combined with years and years of patterns and conditioning from our own childhood. These subconscious beliefs are so deep-rooted and often don’t make sense to a rational mind, which can be a little frustrating when trying to help somebody bring out their self-esteem.
So, what can you do to bring out your child’s self-esteem?
Using the Language of Listening® model, you gain skills to become a life coach for your child, you bring out your child’s greatness. You build upon success and prove to your child that they CAN believe in themselves and help them gather proof of their abilities.
This is so different from using praise. The praise most of us grew up with, however well-meaning, doesn’t “work” in the way we think. Typical praise is all about you and your opinions and judgments, not about your child or what your child thinks and feels. So rather than helping to strengthen your child’s “sense of self”, which is our ultimate goal, praise only strengthens their reliance on your opinions and often leads them to believe that their main STRENGTH is pleasing others.
Self-esteem is the belief and confidence in your own ability and value.
Using the coaching step of adding STRENGTHs supports your child to see their own greatness and gain confidence in their own abilities.
The premise that goes along with strengths is that all children have every possible inner strength and Children Act according to who they believe they are. So, the purpose of pointing out your child strengths is to help them identify with their own strengths so they can act accordingly.
A child who knows they can find solutions, knows they’re problem solvers. A child who knows they are brave, will act bravely. A child who knows they have self-control, will control their own actions.
Children’s actions are an expression of who they believe they are, so by adding the step of Say What You See® and adding a STRENGTH you are giving your child real-life, physical proof and repeated opportunities to see themselves in a new way, to experience for themselves in a positive way whilst gathering proof of their abilities and value.
Building self-esteem happens in stages. Think of it as re-wiring your child’s brain, each time you point out a STRENGTH you’re helping your child to connect and identify with who they really are.
So how can you do that?
It starts with you seeing your child as the best version of themselves. When we choose and decide that we are going to see our child as their best self, they have much more of an opportunity to see themselves as their best self too.
One of the ways that becomes easy is knowing all children have every possible inner strength already, that it’s not actually missing, and you have to somehow impart it to them from the outside. You don’t have to teach your child to BE kind, brave, thoughtful, responsible, know what works for them, determined… it’s already wired into them.
Knowing it’s already there somewhere, even if you can’t see it yet, helps you remain unruffled and reminds you that your job is to look for their strengths and bring it out. That’s what coaching is all about.
Knowing it’s already there is SO important, because for your child to see it in themselves, you must see it first.
If your child’s actions are not demonstrating a particular strength, your child may not be aware that they have it. You can use the coaching skill of adding strengths to reconnect them with it and help them gather proof of who they really are.
Let’s look at a child who’s nervous to go to school and yet still goes. Even if somewhat reluctantly.
If we think we have an anxious child, we might focus our attention on making them less anxious. We may go into ‘fixing mode’ we may try and convince them they are wrong for feeling like they do. So, remember self-esteem is not logical. If they don’t see what we see, they aren’t going to believe a word we say.
So, no amount of: “Oh! You’re fine! Look at all your friends who want to play with you, you’re ok once you’re at school…” is going to build up their belief in themselves. And if we change our boundary and let them stay at home, that’s more proof that we don’t faith in their abilities.
We forget to look for STRENGTHs and bring them out.
Knowing it was already there, we are able to stop fretting and worrying. When we have faith that our child already has inner STRENGTH, we get to see their behaviour in a whole new light.
Instead of thinking how anxious he is going to school, we can see his STRENGTHs. Look how brave he is, how he can do hard things, how adaptable he is, how he can find solutions, is a problem-solver, knows what he likes and doesn’t like, has self-control, is cautious, reliable, self-motivated and knows what to do…
Imagine your child seeing this in himself? That belief and confidence in his own abilities will naturally bring out his self-esteem.
When you prove to your child, they have a strength, they naturally change their own behaviour to reflect it. And as self-esteem is all about, how they view themselves, changing how your child see themselves from the inside out is the only way to build their self-esteem.