In day to day life, we often knowingly or unknowingly damage the self-esteem of our super enthusiastic toddler. At one moment, we consider our child to behave as a grown up & another moment, we snatch away their control or reprimand. All the experiences of a child help in shaping the personality in the long run. We should be wary of this fact & change our behaviour accordingly.
Here are some common scenarios where the child’s self-esteem gets severely hurt –
- Comparision – Few kids are around & you say to your child, look how beautifully that particular kid is playing. Why are you glueing on to me? It is pretty useless to compare any two individuals, rather it’s dangerous to their self-esteem.
- Reacting To Wrong Answers – You are reading a book of animals to your child & asking who is this & that. You point to a zebra & ask what is this, your child replies elephant. You say, NOOO, this is zebra!! The child is still learning. Imagine you are in Japan & trying hard to learn what water is called in Japanese. And you are bashed by the shopkeeper by asking for water & saying something else. Instead tell your child, this is an elephant (pointing to the elephant) & this is a zebra (pointing to the zebra) with a mild tone.
- Prohibiting The Exploration & Curiosity – You are out in a supermarket & your child is picking up the minutest trash he can see on the floor & collecting happily. You see that & say what trash you are collecting, go throw it immediately! This world is an experiment for them & they want to touch & feel everything. If it is not anything dangerous that he is picking, I would let him do this exercise, give him a bag to collect all this stuff, come home & explore it with him. Hear his version of stories about this trash. Name them myself. It’s a great sensory & language building activity & will boost the creativity of your child.
- Snatching Away Control – You gave him a bowl of porridge to eat himself, he decided to get messy & spoil his clothes. You snatch away the bowl saying I will feed you. He is learning to eat, learning to hold the spoon, learning to be stable, sudden change of control sends him a message he is not capable of eating himself. If you are not in a hurry, let him be. If you want to take over to feed him, tell him that you are going to help him eat quickly & that you need to go out soon.
Have you seen yourself or others practicing like that? I personally see this happening many times when I’m in a park or a social gathering etc. As a mother, I try to avoid such remarks or reform my sentence to a gentler tone to help boost my child’s self-esteem. I agree, practicing is tough & this may not come to us very naturally. But in the interest of our child, let us refrain from such negative conversations & make our surrounding positive.