One of the toughest experiences for a parent is the heart-wrenching feeling of helplessness when your child questions their self-worth by expressing that “nobody likes me” or “I have no friends.”
Imagine a child going into a new experience, like the first day of school, especially the first day in a new school. How do you prepare a child walking into a new experience or unfamiliar environment to ensure limited anxiety around “nobody likes me?”
Use Love to Teach your Children about Their Self-Worth
The love of a family is the safest guard to the feeling of not belonging. A family’s love fills a void that many children and adults may experience; the knowledge that no matter what happens, you are loved will add value to a child’s self-worth.
Start with love early in a child’s life, (1) start by learning their love language and loving them in that way, (2) by affirming them every opportunity that presents itself, and (3) and by making the home a place where they always feel safe, welcomed and loved.
For example, my daughter has taken dance lessons since she was two years old; she dances all over the house. Her brother tries very much to keep up, but his dance skills are not as great; but whenever he starts to dance, I jump at the opportunity to affirm him by praising his skills and clapping every time he jumps or twists. Also, at least once a week, I take the time to affirm him by reminding him of how lucky I am that God gave me such an awesome son.
Discover and use the language that will melt your kids’ hearts. Reveal to your kids what love means, what love looks like, and how it feels to be loved, thereby giving them the gift of being firm in who they are.
Teach the Importance of Personal Value and Value in Friendships to Improve a Child’s Self-worth
Parents have great influence over their children, but as children get older, their influence reduces, and the influence of friends increases.
I learned later in life that my friends and I should share some values, and if we don’t, I must be firm in my values system and beliefs. When a child feels like they do not belong, it impacts their future as they get older. Providing your kids with a great set of family values helps. Also, providing them with tools to establish their value system helps.
Promote your Child’s Self-Worth by Affirming their Natural Gifts
An important foundation for stability and happiness for your child is their self-worth, which includes teaching them self-confidence (trusting their own abilities, qualities, and judgments, faith in themselves, pride, and self-respect).
A child with a healthy attitude about themselves and their abilities will feel capable of tackling life’s challenges, both at home and outside the home, amongst peers. A good self-image will lead to good mental health, social happiness, and academic and professional success.
As with most things, one of the most important ways you can teach your child healthy self-worth is by leading by example—how do you carry yourself and speak about yourself and others around your children? Do you let your child see you work through your struggles, believe in yourself, and let them see you and participate in achieving your goals?
Talk to your Child about Your Life Experiences.
Your kids will experience a few things that you have not experienced in your own life. Talk to your kids about those experiences and point out the similarities and differences between your experience and your child’s.
Allow your child to see how it turned out for you, and help them to understand the good and bad choices within the experiences you share. Be transparent with your children once in a while to help them be more transparent with you.
Thanks for exploring this topic with me.