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Rehashing the Past



There are many ways in which you can increase your child's self-esteem. Discussing the 'good old days' with your child is one such way.

Every parent wants his child to grow up into a confident, intelligent and good human being. There are many ways in which a parent can increase his child's self-esteem. Discussing the 'good old days' is one such way.


The Past

Does your child know what you were like when you were a child? What were your living conditions like? How did you fare at school? What were the best times of your boyhood? Discuss your childhood with your children - it deepens their feeling of connectivity to you, and they identify with you. They also look up to you with renewed respect - as if they have suddenly realized that you were not always the serious, office going dad they have always known.

Every time you speak of the 'good old days', concentrate on rehashing the good parts and not the bad, hard times of your youth. Yes, if your child is going through a similar problem, you can let your child know that you went through the same thing, and let him know how you coped. But other than that, steer clear of some of the wilder things you did. If you ever drove drunk, or did dope when you were in school, you don't need to let your children know because they will feel that if dad did it, we can do it - after all look at dad, he turned out alright, didn't he? Similarly, if you indulged in a little substance abuse, you may feel like a hypocrite telling your child not to do the same. Get over it. Drugs can kill, and chemical drugs are especially dangerous, so discourage your child from trying any mind-altering substance and if you tried it yourself, don't mention it. You don't need to lie about it either, and if your child ever finds out that you did something wrong, you can say something like, "Yes, it was wrong, and it was one of the gravest mistakes of my life. I am very lucky that that part of my life is over." Emphasize the fact that you would never want your child to go through what you did, and that you would like him to learn from your mistakes.


Famous Relatives

If someone famous is part of the family, let your child know who they are, what they are or were famous for, how they are related to you. Mala's cousin, Ruchira, was a semi-famous model, but because Mala was somewhat jealous of Ruchira and didn't want to give Ruchira any importance, she never mentioned this to her children. Remember, by letting your children know they are related to someone famous or even someone semi-famous only increases their sense of family pride, which goes a long way in increasing their self-esteem and sense of self-worth. So also, if you ever met or knew anyone famous, let your children know.


The Ancestors

What kind of people were your grandparents? And what were your child's grandparents " your parents " like, when they were younger? Discuss incidents with your child that gives them an insight into what their ancestors were like. If an ancestor was very learned, very successful or very honored, let your children know about it. It increases their sense of family pride.


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