Today’s culture is obsessed with perfection. It contradicts everything that Christian…all parents want to teach their children. However, even in the current cultural climate, we can impart self worth and good self esteem in children.
Below are practical steps that parents can take to eliminate or at the very least limit the influence of the world in their lives.
Instilling Good Self Esteem in Children
I want to start with the two most important parts of instilling good self esteem in children.
As Christian parents, we must teach them what the Word of God says. They need to know how God feels about them and who they are in Christ. The Word clearly tells us that this is our job as parents. We are to train them up. Read the Bible to them, have them memorize Scriptures, get them involved in church activities, and make God an important part of their lives.
Side Note: Never ever use Church as a punishment either. Meaning, do not prevent your child from going to youth group as a punishment for bad behavior. They need it more then ever when they are having issues…and NOT “big” church either. They need to be around their Christian peers.
Limit the media’s influence in their lives. The media is the biggest enemy to a child’s self esteem. They are bombarded with images of unattainable bodies, materialistic desires and UN-Biblical principals.
Most of today’s sitcoms present a world where beautiful skinny women live and the men are not very smart. On the flip side men are taught success is important and sexy women are to be ogled.
The above two factors must be in their proper place. If we are dumping more media into our kids and not enough Word, their self esteem will plummet and their values with become worldly.
The following are also very important steps we must take to help our children love themselves, and be content with who God created them to be.
Speak It. The Word of God teaches us that Faith comes by hearing. Well, so does fear and doubt. If we speak life over our kids, they will believe life. We cannot assume that they know. We need to tell our daughters they are pretty, our sons that they did a great job, and speak positive things over our children on a regular, consistent basis. Compliment them. Validate them. Let them know that they matter. You care about what they have to say and how they feel no matter how trivial the subject matter may seem.
Cheerleader. Parents need to be cheerleaders in their children’s lives. They need to feel like their parents believe in them and their abilities to accomplish their goals. It is a parent’s job to cheer their children on and lift them up when they fall.
Encourage them. Encouragement is a gift every parent must give their children. We all need encouragement to do better, keep trying and to never give up. Children need it even more then adults. Especially with all they go through just being kids and learning about life. Validate them.
Listen to them. Nothing makes a person feel more important than knowing they are heard and valued. Value your children by allowing them to speak and being ready to listen to their feelings, concerns, frustrations and complaints. Allow them the freedom to vent. Children need to feel safe and know that they have someone to be completely transparent with. It is parent’s job to be that person.
Side Note: If our kids do not feel that we are safe to talk to, they will talk to someone else. Unfortunately, they may pick someone who is immature, does not have their best interest at heart, and/or who may give poor advice.
Talk to them. As parents, we need to take the time to communicate with our children. That is more than just listening to them. We also need to talk to them. We need to have conversations with them about the big stuff, little stuff and trivial as well. They must know they matter to us.
Spend quality time with them. This must be as a family and one on one. Building a solid relationship with our children as individuals is vital to helping them make right choices in life. A strong family bond goes a long way for self esteem, and how grounded they will be when trials and temptations come.
God blessed us with children to teach us many things, one of the most important being to be less selfish. We must make our children a priority and take the time to teach them their value and worth as individuals. We must take seriously the call to instill good, healthy, and positive self esteem in children–all children.
Love your kids properly and they will love themselves.
Do you think it is important to instill good self esteem in children? How do you try to promote it in your children’s lives?
Copyright © Lara Velez, AliBelle, LLC; All Rights Reserved
Scripture References: (These verses are for the parent and for teaching children how God sees them.) Proverbs 22:6; Romans 8:32-39; Romans 10:17; Romans 12:2; Galatians 3:29; Ephesians 6:4; Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 2:9; John 3:16; John 15:15; Philippians 1:6; Philippians 4:13; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Isaiah 54:17; Deuteronomy 28:13; Zechariah 2:8; Colossians 3:21
About the Author: Lara Velez is a Christian homeschooling Mother of two, wife, and author. She runs a large website for Christian Mothers, Moms of Faith, which teaches Moms to train their children up. She also has an encouraging blog for Christian wives; Real Christian Wives. You can also find her Twittering away on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Faithful_Mommie