Never underestimate the importance of making sure your child has high self-esteem and confidence in his abilities.
One of the most important personality traits you can instill in your child, is that of self confidence.
No person or child is perfect. Some parents are surprisingly quick to notice their child's
physical flaws, especially with regards to their daughters. I recently
met a mother who, despite having a pretty little girl, would constantly
press the child's nose from the sides in an effort to narrow it down.
"Her nose is too wide," she would say. Hopefully the child was still
too young to notice what her mother was up to or to start wondering if
her nose was really all that bad.
Although you as a mother will certainly have your
child's best intentions at heart, you must understand that by calling
your child's attention to her flaws - especially to physical flaws your
child can do nothing about - is very detrimental to her self esteem.
Jack Welch, former CEO of GE says that the best thing
his mother did for him was to give him a lot of self-confidence. When
he looks at school photographs,
he is always surprised to see that he was one of the shortest boys in
his class. He had never even noticed it at the time, since he was so
comfortable with himself.
If your child has excessive body hair, don't comment on it.
Children are constantly in the company of other children, and if her
friends haven't commented on her excessive body hair, don't bring it
up. The minute your child brings it up, you can then start thinking of
solutions to her problem.
Then there are those mothers who believe that this is the age
for their child to be focusing on studies, and things like excessive
body hair should be the last concern on their mind. So even if the
child comes up to her mother and says that she wants to get rid of the
hair on her upper lip because other students make fun of her, her
mother's response will be to tell her to ignore them and not to worry
about such things at this age. Try and find a middle ground and be
there for her.
Make sure that even if your child has a few physical flaws, you are not the one to call attention to them. If your child is overweight, instead of constantly bringing the fact to her attention, serve low-calorie meals at the outset. Don't serve friend pakoras every evening and tell your child to eat less because he is overweight.
Every child makes mistakes. Instead of yelling at your child
when he makes a mistake, ask him what he learnt from it. Ask him what
he thinks he should do to prevent the mistake from happening again.
Also, let him realize the damage that he has caused due to the mistake
so he feels bad on his own and tries not to repeat the mistake.
Focus on your child's positive aspects at every
time. Never tire of telling your child how if she works at it, she can
achieve anything she sets her mind to. Don't limit your child's dreams.
Encourage her to dream big, but also make her understand that the
larger her dreams, the harder she will have to work and study to
fulfill them. Also, teach your child to be realistic. Instead of
filling your child's head with stories of people who made it big
through sheer luck, instill the value of education in your child, especially if your child is good at studies. If your child is a very poor student, help her nurture other talents.
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- The Indiaparenting Team