I like lists. Obviously. Sometimes, reading a whole entire article can be overwhelming and can leave you feeling like- where do I go from here? Also, I’m a skimmer. So reading a few main points can help me remember the important points from what I just read.
I spend a lot of times with teenagers, and it is pretty obvious that self esteem is a major struggle for most of them. I mean, let’s be honest here. It can be a major struggle for all of us. Low self esteem can start a lot younger than the teen years and can last a lot longer as well! I’ve been thinking about what I can do as a mom to help my kids have a solid self esteem. Here are three ways I think you can boost your child’s self esteem.
1. Teach them the importance of serving others. When your children start thinking of others as better than they are, their focus totally changes. When this happens, they have less time to think about things they don’t like about themselves. It will make your child feel better about himself when he is spending his time making others feel better about who they are! Low self-esteem is a form of pride, although it is hard to see it like that. Pride means that you think of yourself more than you think of others. Even when you are thinking bad things about yourself, you are still thinking of yourself. Teach that to your kids! Teach them the satisfaction that comes when they give their time, their money, their attention to other people.
2. Tell them they have value. I know this seems obvious, but the more you are around your kids, (or anyone!) the easier it can become to not be as intentional with encouraging words. They need to hear the positive things they are doing. They need to hear what their strengths are, what people are saying about them (if it’s good!) what good qualities you see in them, and how you see them succeeding in life. Speak. Speak. Speak. Speak life into your kids. Did you know that your tongue has the power of life and death? Don’t speak death into your children. Death of confidence, death of value, death of hard work. Speak life. Encourage them when they mess up. And be really aware when they are in a similar situation and make the right choice. Go crazy over them. Be their biggest cheerleader. Have good reactions. When they show you something they just built, or drew, or wrote, be over the top excited! Use extravagant words! Tell them they are talented, gifted, amazing, incredible, mind blowing, generous, thoughtful, kind, hilarious, strong. Build these truths into them with your words. They need to hear actual words from you that show them how you feel about them.
3. Teach them where their true value comes from. Understand that our kids are being bombarded by people telling them the importance of their appearance, the number of followers they have, their grades, how many friends they have and how much money they (or their parents) make. And even if I tell them over and over again how much value they have, at the end of the day? I’m the mom! Of course I am going to tell them that! But there are going to be days when the words of their mother is not quite enough. They need to know that their value is far greater than what I can ever even express to them. Their true value comes from God. The one who created them. And not only simply a creator, but a loving God who has a purpose and plan for their lives. A God who loves them more than I ever could. Imagine how differently we would all live our lives if we really understood the magnitude of that? The Almighty God has said that your child has incredible value!! Shouldn’t nothing else matter? Shouldn’t no one else’s opinion have any weight on their self esteem? That is certainly how it should be. If we spend some of our time telling our kids what we value about them, but most of our time telling them what God values about them, just imagine the confidence they will have! It won’t matter if some random girl from school talks about your daughter behind her back. God’s love is deeper. It won’t matter if someone unfriends your son. God’s love is better. It won’t matter if they gain weight, lose weight, break out, or anything else. God’s love is stronger. God’s love trumps everything. It is no wonder that doubting God’s love can seem so easy a trap to fall into. Because once we feel like God doesn’t love us, everything else falls apart. I always, always pray that my kids will never doubt God’s love for them. If they understand how much God loves them, it affects everything. If they think God is just a God who gives rules, they will follow the rules while they think it really matters. While they think people see, and while they think it can benefit them. When they realize that God adores them. Sings over them. Holds their tears in a bottle. They will follow the rules because they want to try as hard as they can to love Him back. Their true value doesn’t come from me. Their true value comes from God.
I know there are many other ways you can boost your child’s self esteem, but if we work on these three things, I think we are off to a pretty good start! Let’s be the kind of moms that work hard to make sure our kids have confidence.