5 ways to encourage high self esteem in Kids
Growing up my self esteem was slim to none. I never felt pretty being a dark skin girl. Whenever I saw images or reflections of dark skin women it was almost always in a negative light. I always thought light skin meant pretty and dark skin equaled ugly. Not to mention being called all kinds of burnt black biscuits at school. This did absolutely nothing for my esteem and I diminished myself more and more as time went on. My mom who was also dark skinned always modeled a high regard of herself. She felt like she was all that and a bag a chips and no one could tell her any different. I never saw her beating herself up over looks or even caring what others thought of how she looked. She was beautiful and she knew it, but I never embodied that feeling. I always wanted to though. The way I felt about myself was no good, I feared having to introduce myself in class or having to talk about myself to others. Even with a mom who was sure of herself I didn't know how to encourage high self esteem in myself. I can tell you one thing remembering how my mom felt about herself eventually had a positive impact on me.
When I became a mother, I knew I never wanted my children to feel the way I felt as a kid or even as a young adult. I promised to ensure that their self esteem would be high. We often times laugh at Dj Khaled and the way he bigs his son up, but I love it. That child will never have to question his GREATNESS because his dad has shown him he is nothing short of it. I want my kids to feel that way. Now that the kids are going back to school, we as parents have to make sure they know just how dope they are no matter what anyone else says.
High self esteem is important for all kids, but especially our black kids. Growing up black in America is a challenge within itself. With strikes already against us it seems to be hard to encourage high self esteem because a lot of us adults lack it. Encouraging high self esteem in them is necessary for them to thrive. Kids these days are more cruel than I remember as a child. Knowing that I make sure my kids know they are EVERYTHING and more and if someone says otherwise tell them "ya maw." Lol In all seriousness though self love is important for our kids and it is our job to affirm them regularly. So, here are five ways to encourage high self esteem in our kids:
1. Model it. We have to model a GENUINE high self esteem in ourselves so that our kids know what that looks like. Seeing is believing and trust me if we are around hating ourselves we teach our kids to do the same. Model a positive self image of yourself.
2. Affirmations. Speak life into your child daily. Let them know they are beautiful, smart, strong, kind, amazing, etc. Need help with this refer back to DJ Khaled. (Lol) Our words have power and what we speak we believe.
3. Listen. Listen to your kids. Let them express themselves. Effective communication brings about confidence. Be interested in what your kids are talking about and teach them that their voice is important and powerful.
4. Do not compare!!! Encourage your child’s uniqueness and individuality. Comparing them to others tells them they need to be like others and what's a world where everyone is alike? Encourage them to be their own dope selves.
5. Encourage strengths. Encourage your child's strengths. Allow them to do the things they are good at. It builds their confidence and encourages them to try new things. Be sure to let them know that no one is perfect and it is ok to make mistakes. (This is important)
Parenting ain't easy, but we gotta do it! Let's raise our kings and queens to be just that, Kings and Queens with high self esteem!