Let’s dive right in here, because this is exciting, awesome stuff!
The starting point for ensuring that our children grow up with a true sense of positivity and confidence is building their self esteem. It is the foundation for everything else that comes down the road. It will give them an unwavering base, and a place to return to, no matter what circumstances unfold around them, throughout their lives.
It can’t be stated enough…self esteem is critical.
Esteem really breaks down into two parts; belief and confidence.
I hear so many people talk about how their lack of self esteem as a child or teenager really had an effect on them. Then they talk about how it directly relates to the way they react to situations in their life now, as adults. A majority of folks equate the lack of self confidence in their youth to missed opportunities or even total failure in certain areas of their lives. The bummer is I think that’s an accurate correlation.
Before any of us can begin to get a grasp on our own God-given abilities and start to share our truest talents with the world, we have to believe in ourselves.
Belief is where it starts. And the beliefs we form in our hearts as children, stay with us consciously and subconsciously for our entire existence.
I talk to my son and daughter constantly about how they can achieve anything that they set their mind to. I tell them that if they can believe in their heart that it is possible, then it will become reality. They only have to pursue it with passion and energy. I think that it is essential to establish this as early as you start talking to your kids.
Now, understand one thing; having talks like this with your children is going to lead to some pretty interesting conversations as their minds begin working to understand it. For example, I was having an amazing discussion with my two little ones this past weekend about the “flying machine” they were building in the garage. They were going to use it to get to the North Pole before Christmas Eve. They figured that it just had to be strong enough to get them there, because they would hitch a ride with Santa on the way back. They were taking snacks and $8 cash. The wings were sheets and blankets which were attached to two poles. The seats they strapped into were their school backpacks, which were connected to the poles as well. The device they were using to steer the contraption looked amazingly similar to a PlayStation 2 joy stick. I actually thought it was pretty cool. Oh, and as a backup motor, in case the joy stick lost power, they were using a space heater fan.
So, while I’m fairly certain that they will still be here for the rest of the week, I was able to talk to them about how original and imaginative the idea was. And I will tell you, I’m pretty into it myself (and no, not because I want the house to be quiet for a few days…ha)
It ended up being a great exercise in creativity, which I strongly encourage for all kids.
The key for them was to understand that when they have an idea, and they act on it, things begin to happen. They didn’t necessarily give the Wright Brothers a run for their money, but there is a really neat looking invention in the garage now that wasn’t there before they thought it up.
So again, self-belief is really where esteem building starts. It is, of course, something that needs to be worked on like anything else. The more times a child exercises their creativity, the more creative they become. Think of the “use it or lose it” concept. Then, apply liberally.
Let them believe! Help them believe! They should feel like there is nothing that is beyond possibility. Their imaginations should be as fully engaged as they can be, as often as possible. They need to really start to enjoy the whole idea of being exactly who they are.
When you start to establish this, you will notice a difference in the way they act, talk, think, and live their wonderful little stress-free lives. And the more they can think and feel and act this way, the more their belief in themselves will translate into success, now and later.
The second part of building their self esteem is helping them to understand that they are totally worthy of achievement. And I’ll start talking about that in the next post.
Right now I’ve got to go do a Google search for the quickest route to the North Pole…