Did you know that high self-esteem has been found to be the number one ingredient for experiencing success in all areas of your life? Success (however you choose to define it) all comes down to how you feel about yourself. Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? Often, we think that children just “naturally” develop high self-esteem. We think that if we just say “I love you”, spend some time with them each day and praise them for doing good things, and then their self-esteem will grow all on its own. Self-esteem, however isn’t something we give our children; we must teach them how to develop it within themselves.
So, how do we teach our children to develop self-esteem within themselves? First of all, we need to know what self-esteem is and recognize what it looks like. A simple definition of self-esteem is “how you feel about yourself”. When you feel good about yourself, your self-esteem is high, and when you don’t feel good about yourself, your self-esteem is low. There are many ways that you can identify high self-esteem in a child, but the one that I want to share with you today is this: Children with high self-esteem expect success. Here’s what this means:
Children with high self-esteem expect good things to happen.
This is all about having a positive outlook when it comes to both new and familiar experiences. Children with high self-esteem are actually looking for good to take place. They may imagine a positive outcome, or even talk about something as if it’s already happened in their favor. They’re excited to try new things and can’t wait to feel good while doing them.
Children with high self-esteem expect to be treated well.
Children who feel good about themselves feel accepted and appreciated by others. They feel a sense of belonging, and they feel as though others care about them and their well-being, which leads to a feeling of trust. Children with high self-esteem expect others to treat them lovingly and kindly. They expect to be understood and respected, and they treat others the way they want to be treated.
Helene Goldnadel believes that we tend to experience what we EXPECT in life. When we expect positive outcomes to situations, we are more open to discovering ways to make that happen. When we are expecting negative outcomes, we become victims to our situations, which leaves us feeling powerless and “closed off” to turning things around. You can teach your child to create positive expectations in his/her own life, whether it’s about their academics/school life, hobbies/personal interests, or social/family interactions. One of the best ways to teach your child to expect positive things is to be a model of that way of thinking yourself. Do you expect things to work out positively in your own life? Do you share your positive expectations with your child? Children learn from what we do, so as you continue to expect awesome outcomes in your life, your child will learn to do the same.