The Self Esteem Formula
Do you worry that your child does not seem satisfied or happy? Does your child seem to lack self-esteem or the needed confidence to know his/her abilities and self-worth?
This can be very troubling for a parent who wants the best for the child. I encourage parents to work on life skills that promote a sense of mastery and happiness. My favorite example is to teach your child the formula to decrease anxiety, be thankful and feel empowered. It is very simple to teach, to role model and to learn.
The Happiness and Mastery Formula
This formula can be taught to anyone but is especially good for children who lack self-esteem or is prone to anxiety.
Stay in The Moment
This step assists children in learning how to be less anxious by teaching them to look at what is occurring in their life and to not worry about the past or what is in their future. When they share what they fear might be happening in their lives, you ask them to focus on staying in the moment. You encourage them to look for solutions that they can achieve in the present. And when they start to worry about past or future, you say what can we do today about that?
Have Gratitude and Look for What Is Working
When kids appreciate what is going right, they are less anxious and are increasingly happier. They tend to feel more empowered. They are more likely to focus on the good as opposed to the bad. The key is when your child comes home feeling defeated you ask him to identify what is going right in his life? The attitude of gratitude is an easy life skill to role model and practice and can turn into a family phenomenon even around family members who are negative!
The life skill of reframing comes from the concept of reframing a picture to make it look different. This technique looks at difficult situations and identifies what a child can learn from it and how it may make him or her stronger. So literally when a child comes home feeling discouraged you ask: That sounds hurtful, I bet there is something we can learn in all this. This teaches the child to handle disappointing situations from a stance of empowerment and mastery. It gives your child a sense that he/she can do things differently and can work towards a different outcome in the future.
So now let’s look at some examples.
A child comes home with an F and says he is stupid.
First you ask what can you do about this F today? The child says I could study more. Or dad could help me work on my math or I could get in that study class and get help from the resource teacher.
Is there anything that you can be grateful for?
What has this taught you or how can you learn from it? I am glad that I can tell you about it so you can help me study. I thought you were going to be mad at me and you might take away my game boy.
How have you grown stronger or what did you learn about this? I learned that I need some special help because this math is hard stuff!
You have the power to teach your kids coping skills that help them to feel better about themselves. If you run into some resistance, just keep modelling the formula. When you work it …. It works!