1. Build Self-Esteem
    1. Help Children Feel Valued and Respected – a unique person of God
    2. Breaking the Negative Cycle – some indicators of a low self-esteem
  2. Relationship Builders

Build Self-Esteem


Help Children Feel Valued and Respected – a unique person of God
Helping children feel valued is most important in building self-esteem. Remember children are not people to be molded but rather people to be unfolded. Unfolded into what God has designed them to be. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you… ”(Jeremiah 1:5).
Building a good relationship with a child is the key to helping a child feel worthy and capable. Help children build positive relationship with others and yourself by:

· Being kind, gentle, supportive, responsive and available.
· Paying attention to a child as you greet them and listening when they need to tell you something.
· Talking with a child in meaningful conversation rather than just telling him what to do.
· Using non-judgmental statements such as: “I understand you are feeling angry when you have to wait. How else could we feel about this?”
· Enhancing children ability to make and keep friends. Help children learn how to play, solve problems, work together, and negotiate conflicts with others.
· Looking for ways to enhance each child’s uniqueness and importance. Take pictures of each person in your family and put it on your refrigerator. Beside each person’s picture print his or her name, favorite activity and what makes them unique. Think of ways to enhance each child’s specialness everyday.
· Greeting your children with a pleasant statement about him or her.
· Finding ways children can help. Express your appreciation for their help and compliment them on a job well done.
· Encouraging children to help family members with simple tasks.
· Enlisting the help of children when you feel a need to rearrange their play space, design a new family night game, or work on a family project.
· Looking for ways to support the children’s efforts and ideas as they complete their homework, work on a craft or make an effort to clean up after themselves.
· Giving children a choice of activities at home and play.
· Offering plenty of time for free unstructured play to help their natural talents develop and help them work through thoughts, ideas and questions.
· Asking for and heeding opinions of the children on home and extra-curricular activities.
· Setting up and consistently following routines, guidelines and rules.
· Letting children know the consequences. Make a statement and then give the consequences.
· Being fair by not showing favorites. Giving each child equal time and responsibilities in which they can succeed.
· Being available to encourage your children to try new experiences and cheer them on to a level of their own competence rather than forcing them to work or achieve beyond their abilities or comparing them with others who may be more advanced.
· Lightening up. Children’s lives can quickly fill with schedules, deadlines and other people’s expectations and requirements. Help your child choose and back his choices.
· Leaving some things unsaid. Use words that edify and build up. Even if only the family is there speak to one another as if the world is viewing.
· Forgiving one another. Practice saying “I’m sorry. Will you forgive me?”


Breaking the Negative Cycle – some indicators of a low self-esteem
When adults or peers make a child feel bad her self-esteem erodes. If you want to stop or change these feelings, figure out how you can stop challenging behavior and leave a child feeling valued or respected. A child with a low self-esteem consistently:

· Has no friends and has problems interacting with others.
· Demands her way by throwing tantrums and demanding her way.
· Becomes frustrated and has a low tolerance.
· Misbehaves in order to get attention.
· Fears others and experiences.
· Bosses and bullies the other children.


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Relationship Builders

· Learn to laugh together – look for the humor in the situation.
· Avoid put downs – such as “Can’t you do anything right? You don’t know anything about that.”
· Keep the volume down and the tendency for one person to outdo another.
· Work things out as a team – never attack a family member. Instead, attack the problem.
· Before you act, take a deep breath and count silently to 10.
· Think before you speak – then you’ll not have to regret what you have said. If you do over react – admit it.
· Stop and ask, “What is the worst thing that could have happened and what is good about this?”
· Play, laugh, love and care for one another. Help your children love themselves so they can love others.


Sheri Babb, 9-20-07

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