As someone who has always wanted a child I have often thought about how amazing it would be to shape someone’s life. I envisaged myself reading the latest parenting books, written by child psychologists and experts. One of the reasons parenthood is such a huge responsibility is that early childhood experiences can shape a person’s personality, beliefs and approach to life.
Interestingly in previous generations there was a big emphasis on boosting children’s self-esteem which inadvertently led to some parents teaching their kids entitlement – one of the essential ingredients of narcissism.
If you are thinking of starting a family or already have one of your own here are some useful tips on how to encourage your child’s self-esteem without teaching them entitlement.
- Try to avoid telling your child ‘you deserve it’ or ‘you’ve earnt it’ (at least not all the time, hehe)
- Teach children the importance of kindness
- Teach children the importance of forgiveness and saying sorry
- Teach children the importance of learning assertiveness skills so they create healthy boundaries with others
- Teach children anger management techniques so they can manage when they don’t get their own way better
- Teach children their character is what gives them worth and value
- Teach children that they – along with everyone else – has to work hard, be disciplined and sacrifice things to achieve success (but it’s totally worth it)
- Teach children that although hard work, discipline and sacrifice is required for success that they do have the ability to achieve their dreams
- Teach children that success does NOT equal worth, that is derived from your character alone
- Teach children to try to imagine how others feel and consider how their actions impact others emotionally
Do you have children? Are you planning to one day have kids? Do you have any tips of your own to teach children self-esteem and empathy and ward off narcissistic tendencies? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community we’d love to hear from you.