The youth are important, and they need to feel like they are. We as parents need to help them start building their self-esteem at a young age. When children are old enough to talk parents need to teach them how to start making positive self-statements. Proverbs 23:7 states that “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he”. Matthew 12:34 “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Therefore, when the youth hear criticism all the time they tend to believe what they hear. And/Or, if they’re always speaking negative about themselves that’s coming from their heart and that’s how they feel about themselves. Building healthy self-esteem is important to the happiness and the success of the youth.
What Is Self-Esteem? Self -esteem is how one feel about themselves and how their actions reflect their feelings.
I remember working in a school and overhearing this sixteen-year- old young lady talk about how stupid she was. I asked her “why would you say that about yourself”? Her explanation was “whenever my mom gets upset with me, she calls me stupid. So, therefore I must be stupid”. I told her that she was not stupid and that she was very intelligent. I then told her that parents are not perfect and sometimes when they’re upset or frustrated they may say things that they shouldn’t say and sometimes they may not know what to say. But, that doesn’t excuse their behavior and that is not portraying good behavior. Therefore, whenever I saw the young lady I made sure that I always said something positive to her to uplift her spirit.
As months passed the young lady would walk up to me and start saying positive things about herself. She said she stopped speaking negative words over herself because her self-esteem was beginning to soar. I was so proud of her! Parents, be generous with praise it’s easy and quick to express negative feelings but, how often do you say something positive? Children remember everything, they are like sponges and their brains soak up and store whatever it takes in. When they continue to hear hurting words about themselves it shows up in their actions, their words, and it determines how they feel. Avoid ridiculing or criticizing your child. Parents develop a positive approach when chastising your children. Inspire them to act responsibly without talking down to them. If you can’t say something positive
to lift them up, please don’t talk about them negatively to tear them down. So, parents teach your children how to turn any negative voice that they hear in their head to a positive affirmation; and, please don’t be the one to plant those negative seeds. Let your sphere of influence be positive and loving.
Author Melanie D.