Saturday, April 23, 2016

Two fundamental ideas to affirmation

An important part of being a parent is believing in what a child can become. A belief in what children can become helps build children's self-esteem. Children need to know that their parents, caregivers, siblings etc. believe in them. Parents need to have a deep faith that their children can learn, grow, mature and develop. This faith needs be developed in children so that they know for themselves that they can learn, grow, mature and develop in positive ways. Teaching a child to have this kind of confidence in themselves and their abilities is a hard thing to do, takes many years and a parent reiterating these things over and over to their children.

One thing that parents can do to establish a belief and confidence in their children is to accept their children for who they are. Accept your children's personality, temperament, behavior skills and abilities. Every child is different and they need to be loved and accepted for those differences, not told to be someone different.

There are two fundamental ideas to affirmation. Affirmation is a statement that is declared to be true, confirmation or validated. For example, if a parent tells a child they're good at making jewelry the statement, "You are good at making jewelry," is an affirmation to the parents belief that the child is good at making jewelry.

The first fundamental idea to affirmation is valuing uniqueness. The second idea is not expecting a child to be like others.This critical view affirms each child's uniqueness and makes it important for parents not to compare children to other children in their family or other families or children in their classroom. When parents compare children to others they send the message that who the child is, is somehow wrong and not valued which causes children to feel they aren't loved-particularly for who they are. The message is sent that they need to be like someone else, whether that be the next door neighbor, the child in youth group, one of their friends or someone in popular culture in order to be someone who is liked, loved and accepted. When this message is sent it's not the child who is wrong, it's the adult sending this message to the child who is wrong.

Be your child's loudest, biggest cheerleader! Cheer them on, pick them up, dust them off and tell them to try again and support and help them in any way you can. Tell them they can do it, why you know they can do it and help them succeed! Invest in your children. Invest in their abilities, their talents and their future. It will be the best investment you ever make! It will also grow their self-esteem in a way that nothing else can or will.

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