7 Surefire Ways To Squash Self-Esteem

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self esteem17 Surefire Ways To Squash Self-Esteem

“The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.”― Mark Twain

The following 7 items are a recipe for squashing your child’s self-esteem. If you want to raise emotionally healthy and stable children, do the opposite of the following:

1. Don’t Listen

Our children need us to REALLY listen to them. I’ve been guilty of “listening” while checking e-mail, or cooking. However, I only gave a head nod. I truly wasn’t listening. When I slow down, step away from my own agenda, and truly listen, my children feel valued and important.

2. Nag & Use Threats and Intimidation

I want what I want when I want it. If it isn’t done instantaneously, I obsess about getting it done. This deflates my children. They want me to have confidence in their abilities; thus, they only want to be told once. If they don’t follow through, then I may gently redirect them teaching, coaching, and guiding instead of squawking orders. Additionally, have a system in place for following expectations. The system needs to include predetermined consequences for not following the rules. Then, be consistent. Stick to the system instead of threatening your children or using intimidation. This creates fear which leads to smashed self-esteem. Instead, be consistent, follow through the first time building trust and security.

3. Do Everything For Your Children

I have friends that do everything for their children thinking that they are showing love and doing them a favor, but in reality, it makes the child feel helpless. Instead, train and role model while guiding them through what they need to learn.

4. Don’t Give Time
Study after study clearly states that all children want from their parents is quality time. Give your children your undivided attention. When children don’t get their parents undivided attention, they don’t feel worthy. Unplug from all technology and go do something fun, regularly. Build memories that will last a lifetime.

5. Be A Perfectionist

I had a friend tell me that she was “plagued by perfectionism.” It struck a chord with me. My children never felt like they measured up, because whenever they would accomplish a task, I gave them a bigger task to conquer. In my quest to shape them into the best that they could become, I squashed their self-concept making them feel like they could never do anything good enough. My lesson learned: Strike a balance. Set high expectations, but don’t expect perfection. Remember to praise all the amazing tasks your children do accomplish. Calm down and enjoy the moments; life will never be perfect.

6. Yell

Yelling creates resentment, low self-esteem, and a fight. A soft approach works every time. You get more honey with kind words rather than kicking the bee hive.

“If you want to gather honey, don’t kick over the bee hive.” – Dale Carnegie

When you kick the hive, you create a swarm of mad, stinging bees. This is also true with our children. Kind correction is sweet like honey.

41 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for the reminder. Sometimes we as parents get wrapped up in accomplishing the “musts” in our lives we forget the reason we are doing them. We are our children’s teachers and how we teach makes a difference…good or bad.

  2. It is a constant struggle to give positive and encouraging feedback to our children and I really appreciate your tips on this subject. Even though we all want what’s best for our children, it is so easy to fall into the trap of actually discouraging them while we think we are pushing them to achieve more! I appreciate all of your points. Wish I had a little bell that would ring an alarm when I mess up in this area.

    • Donna,
      Yes, it is a constant struggle. That is why I hung up the poem from this article where I could see it daily. The daily reminder helped me remember what is truly important; the well-being of my children. I like the bell idea. 🙂 I’d shutter if I had to view a video replay of some days in our home. Parenting is journey. Thankfully, each day is a new day to get it right. 🙂 I have a sign that says: Progress not perfection. I need that reminder, daily. Thank you for taking the time to comment.
      Together, we make a positive difference.
      Pamela
      http://literateforlife http://facebook.com/literateforlife http://twitter.com/literate4

  3. This is great! I’ll be sharing this for friends with young children. It’s full of great advice, it should be printed and kept handy for parents struggling with their kids! 😀

    • Terri,
      Thank you so much. I need the reminders such as the poem. I had it printed and hung it where I could see it daily.
      Thank you so much for sharing. I hope that this article helps many. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.
      Together, we make a positive difference. 🙂
      Pamela

  4. I was raised being told I was a “misfit”, don’t do that to your child! We all make mistakes being a parent but whatever you do, don’t bruise their self esteem.

    • Bertha, (My marvelous mom) 🙂
      I’m sorry you were bruised, but the good news is that we have a choice to do differently and rise above the past.
      Thank you so much for leaving a comment, and thank you for parenting me in the best way you knew how. 🙂
      I love you.
      Together, we make a positive difference.
      Pamela

  5. Jennifer,
    I am so happy that this was a good reminder. Parenting is a journey. 🙂 I have a sign where I can see it daily that says: “Progress not perfection”. 🙂 Isn’t it awesome that we do make a positive difference in the tiny humans we get to be with. Thanks for taking the time to comment.
    Together, we a positive difference. 🙂
    Pamela

  6. Jennifer,
    I am so happy that this was a good reminder for you. Parenting is a journey. I have a sign where I can see it daily that says: Progress not perfection. It helps me focus on what’s truly important; the well-being of my children. It is wonderful that we have a choice to make a positive difference on the tiny humans we are blessed with. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. 🙂
    Together, we make a positive difference.
    Pamela

  7. What a wonderful article. Did make me wish I had read it when my boys were younger. Oh well, better late than never – right?

    • Keri,
      I know, right. Well, we still come into contact with children. Each day is a new day to incorporate what we’ve learned along the way. I am glad you liked the article. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment.
      Together, we make a positive difference. 🙂
      Pamela

  8. This is a great article and will be useful to many of the readers of Mom’s Magazine! If we could just remember all your helpful hints throughout our days, Pamela, it would make a big difference. I like the previous commenter’s (Donna) thought about having a little bell ring when we need a reminder of your ideas! Keep writing! We need your encouragement to make positive differences in the world around us!

    • Rose,
      Thank you so much for your encouragement. It is my hearts desire to help others. Parenting is hard and a journey. I think we all need as much encouragement as we can get. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment.
      Together, we make a positive difference. 🙂
      Pamela

  9. Loved the Dale Carnegie quote! Buzzing angry bees–or boys can be totally non-productive and painful! I’m pouring on some honey before requesting help with the next task.

    • Cindy,
      The bee quote is a great analogy. I must remember to pour on the honey too. Hope you got productive tasks accomplished with your honey. 🙂
      Thank you for taking the time to comment.
      Together, we make a positive difference. 🙂
      Pamela

    • Diana,
      Thank you. I am glad that it was helpful to you. I think we all need this reminder; well, at least I do. 🙂
      Thank you for taking the time to comment.
      Together, we make a positive difference. 🙂
      Pamela

  10. Really great list. This is something so important to me because I have a lot of deeply engrained self-esteem issues of my own and don’t want to pass them down to my daughter. This is a good article to read over and over again! Thank you for sharing. I found you at the Hip Homeschool Hop.

    • Kristi,
      Thank you. I’m so glad that it was helpful to you. I’m so sorry that you have been squashed in the past. The good news is that we don’t have to pass it on to our children. Since you are aware of this, I am sure that you are a fabulous, encouraging mom. 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to comment.
      Together, we make a positive difference.
      Pamela

    • Kristen,
      I am happy that the reminder helped you. Yes, I love knowing you and having other women mentors in my life that love God.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment.
      Pamela

  11. Thanks Pamela, all good advice. I was a little worried when it was stated as things not to do that it would be very negative – but you provide really good alternatives. Thanks.

    • Nicole,
      Thanks, I was trying to grab attention with the negative. Maybe it didn’t convey so well in the title. However, I am glad you enjoyed the advice.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment.
      Pamela

  12. Great reminders and boy do I need reminding, often LOL My oldest is a HANDFUL. Thank you so much for sharing at the (mis)Adventures Monday Blog Hop. I really (and I do mean REALLY) look forward to what you share this week.

    • Mindie,
      Thank you. I think we all need these reminders. 🙂 I’d hate to have a live video feed in my house some days, but the good news is that each day is a new day to get it right. 🙂
      Thank you for taking the time to comment.
      Pamela

  13. I enjoyed your article. We sometimes need these reminders to help us get back on track. Parenting is such am important job, and we can easily forget the value and impact we are making on a daily basis. I agree with your insights. The only thing I would add is that, at times, we have to do what’s hard and follow through with consequences for disobedience. I hate to see my kids feel bad, but I wasn’t them to learn accountability. My husband is better at enforcing that than I am. lol. Anyhow, great article! Looking forward to the next one authored by you!

    • Nicole,
      Thank you for leaving a comment and your feedback. I am glad you enjoyed the article and reminders. I agree, we do need to do what is hard sometimes and follow through with consequences; this teaches our children that actions have consequences. This is life. It is better that they learn it at home before getting slammed in the world. Again, thank you.
      Pamela

  14. Thanks Pamela. Great article! I’m thinking of stating it in the positive and displaying it. Something like:
    1. Listen
    2. Provide clear guidance and expectations
    3. Allow reasonable autonomy
    4. Give quality time
    5. Celebrate small successes, improvement, and personal bests
    6. Correct kindly
    7. Mistakes are an opportunity to learn
    8. Make an effort to understand

    To number 5, I’d add encouraging children to assess their own performance. Even by praising rather than criticising, we can teach kids that they need others to approve of them. Ideally, we want children to hold themselves to high standards, learn from their own mistakes, and be proud of who they are and what they have accomplished. I guess this could be an additional one:

    9. Stop telling when you can ask. e.g. “What do you think you have done well? What do you think you could do better? What should you be doing now? What will happen if you don’t do x now? Why are you doing that?”
    Thanks Pamela!

    • Nicole,
      I am thrilled that I inspired you to write a complete outline. 🙂 Wow.
      I was trying the negative twist as an attention grabber; I’m not sure if it conveyed. Anyway, I am glad you found value in this. Thank you for the feedback and taking the time to write it.
      Pamela

  15. Merissa Hatch,

    Thank you. The poem helped me stay focused on what is truly important while raising my children.
    Thank you for taking the time to comment.
    Have a wonderful day.
    Pamela

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