One of the fastest ways to make others feel good about themselves is to say positive things about them. The same serotonin boost can be felt when you say nice things about yourself as well. If that’s not enough, consider the benefits that speaking positively about yourself and others can have on your own children, who are watching everything you do.
According to an article in Psychology Today, when parents feel good about themselves, they are better able to extend a positive sense of self to their children. That’s why it’s important to practice positive self-talk—to teach your kids confidence and train them to be optimistic. Not only are our children learning from the way we speak to ourselves but the way that we speak to—and about—them as well.
Say encouraging words and positive mantras
Start by modeling daily affirmations, which you can turn into a game. When you’re sitting down to dinner each night, create a habit of going around the table to have everyone say an affirmation about their day and something they did well.
When you start thinking of things optimistically or looking on the bright side, your children experience less stress and anxiety. Focus on using encouraging words and family mantras that will pop into your kids’ minds when they’re feeling down on themselves. A family mantra could be as simple as, “Smiths always try their best!”
Set attainable goals and expectations
The same can be said for both parents and their children-–setting attainable goals and expectations is essential to higher self-confidence and satisfaction. Let your children set goals and encourage them to meet them, but always stay positive. Find ways to reframe negative thoughts to help your child develop this skill into adulthood.
Talk about feelings of pride
Pride can sometimes have a negative connotation, but this is not always true: pride also promotes self-identity. Someone who has pride in their work is considered industrious, and if someone has pride in their actions, they have dignity. Show your child it is okay to be happy for their successes and hard work by not only telling them out loud that you are proud of them but also asking if they are proud of themselves.
Leave room for mistakes
The best way to teach children to love themselves is to let them know they are human and to remind them of this when mistakes are made. Verbally reinforcing that they can do better next time or that they can try again will help them to cope with failures in the future without affecting their self-esteem.
At Kiddie Academy, our educators encourage children throughout the day. It’s important to recognize not only accomplishments but also effort. The classroom environment is a safe space for children to explore, create and express their thoughts. When a child is unable to complete a task, it’s important for them to hear that they are still learning, this way they don’t feel defeated and will continue to try. In addition, educators should continue to encourage positive coping skills by modeling in the classroom.
Our children are watching and learning from us constantly, which means it's important to model positive behaviors. Focus on the good in your children and speak nicely about yourself, and you will show your children the importance of treating themselves with kindness and grace in the long run.