Some children are more sensitive than others, which can contribute to their feelings of self worth as they struggle to shrug off negative feelings, or painful barbs directed at them. Many people will say they need toughening up. But do they?
International best-selling, award-winning author and speaker L.R Knost says, “It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.”
So then how is it possible for us to nurture sensitivities and foster high self-esteem?
Simply by regularly using these four phrases recommended by Dr Justin Coulson.
- I’m here for you
Studies consistently tell us that when a child knows that they are cared for, or that we will listen to them, they feels worthy and strong. Their self-esteem builds.
- I’m listening
When we stop listening and start lecturing, we disempower our children and leave them feeling bad about themselves, instead by using a supportive statement we show them that we value and support them.
- I trust you
When we place our trust in our children, we show that we ‘esteem’ them, and they feel trusted.
- I love you
There is no better feeling than knowing you are loved. We should tell them often via phone calls, text messages, emails and letters when you can’t be there in person and show them, by spending quality time with them for example attending sporting games, concerts, and other events they are interested in.
Finally in the moments of frustration with your children, where raising a voice or yelling is the natural reaction, don’t. Instead get down to their level, and speak quietly and directly. The effect will be more powerful as they are not overcome by fear and instead listen more closely.