Children often disparage themselves with phrases such as: “I can’t do it!,” or “It’s too hard for me,” or “I am not as smart as my brother or sister.” Parents, even good ones, often just let these expressions of frustration pass. But words and thoughts have power. They can build and they can destroy.
Parents and teachers, whose objective is to foster emotional health, self-esteem and self-confidence in children must be proactive in their relationship with children. Studies confirm that the impact of constructive and positive verbal directives and exchanges between adults and children influence the children’s feelings of self-worth, self- esteem and self-efficacy.
There is ample research that shows the advantage in school and later in their professional life that children with positive self-esteem have over kids whose perception of self is critical or harsh. For what is self-esteem but the “self-evaluation of competence in certain domains of functioning?” (Szente, 2007). Indeed, the earlier children learn to manage the quality of their thoughts about and perceptions of themselves the better they are prepared to deal successfully with future challenges, and the more they are likely to achieve success and fulfillment in life.
One tested way of helping kids develop a kinder more optimistic attitude toward themselves and thus build their self-esteem and self-confidence is with positive affirmations. Merited approval works as do positive affirmations that are associated with good values and achievements (small or big).
Posted by Sarah Mazor
Szente, J. (2007). Empowering Young Children for Success in School and in Life. Early Childhood Education Journal