Recently, one of my friends shared an experience that resonates with me.

He told about the performance of his daughter who made him proud in her third term final examinations. The third term result shows that my friend’s daughter took the first position in a class of 17 students.

To say the least, my friend was over the moon about his daughter’s brilliant performance. In his words, ” I couldn’t stop saying to my daughter “My daughter, Bukky made me proud once again. When expressed my delight over her performance, she smiled and I could see an expression of joy and contentment on a face.”

My recent expression of satisfaction on my daughter’s performance was not the first time my daughter and her siblings have heard me shout their praises.

I and my wife are the biggest fans, cheer-leaders and back-patter extraordinaire on our children’s accomplishments. These were the words of my friend about his daughter.

But I often heard some students say: “No one wants to hang out with me. I’m a failure at home and school. All my other friends seem happy. What’s wrong with me?”

It is worrisome that these kinds of negative thoughts from students are becoming more common in our homes and schools.

Naturally, children experienced increased levels of anxiety and perfectionism to their studies and expectations from their parents and loved ones. To boost their self-worth, it behooves on parents to help their children to see beyond themselves in other to develop their self-worth.

If a child feels good about herself/himself, then she/he may be more likely to connect with others and benefit from the supports provided at home and school.

Children with high self-worth are found to be happier and mentally healthier, whereas those with low self-worth tend to be psychologically distressed and perhaps even depressed.

In a culture saturated with digitally altered images of impossibly thin women, indeed, raising children with high Self-worth can be very daunting. But as parents, we have great influence to boost our kids’ Self-worth.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, suicide was the third highest cause of death of young people aged 15 to 24. That statistic comes from 2007 but the figure is growing. Depression is a big cause of this and low self-worth is therefore something parents should be aware of in their children.

As parent, you can do so much to help your child boost his self-worth.

So, how can parents influence how their kids think positively about themselves?

Here are five ways parents can help their children develop a healthy sense of self-worth:

1. Offer Sincere Praise

If praises are not perceived as sincere and honest, children would not feel very encouraged. Insincere praises are not only ineffective, but they can also be harmful. Praises that are inconsistent with self-view may be perceived as insincere. These encouraging words are discounted when children think about their own behaviour that is contrary. Such praises can lead to children’s self-criticism and even intentional sabotage to resolve such discrepancy. Instead of sweeping praises, while not encourage your child by using descriptive and specific comments. The less general or generic the praise, the more likely it is factually correct and perceived as sincere. Try and point out a specific aspect of the child’s performance and describe what behaviour led to good results. Specific and descriptive comments signal you have paid attention and you really care.

However, sincere praise can encourage your child to try hard in the future – it is very motivating. But you can also use encouragement before and during an activity to help your child do the activity or behavior.

2. Support Your Child Pursuit of a Passion

Another way you can boost your child’s confidence is to encourage them to take on activities they show interest in, and then make sure they follow through to completion. It does not matter what the task is. The important thing is for them to stick with what they start, so they feel that hit of accomplishment at the end.

3. Let Them Know Nobody Is Perfect

Researchers at Stanford University found that whether a parent views a child’s setbacks and mistakes as a positive thing or a bad thing can shape that child’s beliefs about intelligence, and in turn, affect their
future. “Children’s beliefs about intelligence have a huge impact on how well they do,” says Kyla Haimovitz, Ph.D., the lead author of the study
and a researcher in the Department of Psychology at Stanford University.

Instead of talking about your child’s mistakes, focus on how to do it better the next time. Remind your child that whatever went wrong can be a very useful and educational tool in figuring out what to do or not do
in the future. Let your child know no one is perfect. And explain that no one expects him to be perfect. The way you react to your child’s mistakes and disappointments colours the way he will react.

4. Model Positive Self-talk and Self-Love

To teach your child to love him or herself, you need to love yourself first. You can model this behaviour by rewarding and praising yourself when you do well. Whether you are a business person, a professional, or
you get a promotion at work or throw a successful dinner party for recent achievement, celebrate your successes with your children. Talk about the skills and talents and efforts needed for you to achieve those
accomplishments. In the same conversation, you can remind your child of the skills he or she possesses and how they can be developed and used.

5. Spend Time Together

You are busy, I know, but to help your child, you need to spend quality time together with the right content. The fact of doing this not only helps you to build a better relationship; it also shows that they matter enough for you to give one of your most precious gifts – your time.

The best of the legacies any adult, parent, and teacher can give a child is to HELP THEM DEVELOP A SENSE OF SELF WORTH. It is the NOW thing. Let’s embrace this to save the future of our kids NOW.

Parenting isn’t just a gift, it can be taught, learnt, and groomed.

So I am sincerely inviting you parents, adults, faith based workers, youth handlers, teachers, and singles , to be part of our PARENMARK SCHOOL OF PARENTING SUMMER SESSION, scheduled to kick start in September 2019. To us at Parenmark , every adult and parent around the child is as important as the child they watch over.

Interested individuals should click the link below for registration

See you in class.

Thank you.

Akinropo Akinola
Parenting Development Expert

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