Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fostering self-esteem

Parenting is certainly harder than it looks on TV sitcoms!  When my children were very young I found it hard because of lack of sleep and general fatigue.  As they grew and started to sleep through the night I realized that the infant years weren't so hard after all - it's the navigating through the terrible threes (twos weren't nearly as bad as the threes in our house) and beyond into raising children with a strong moral code and high self esteem that is challenging.

Right now, at age 6 and 4, my children believe they are totally awesome!  It's not uncommon for me to see my six year old wear every possible pattern of material at the same time, sparkle shoes and silly hair accessories and strut around like she is ready to take on the world.  My 4 year old has an overabundance of charm that just draws people to her and she knows she is special.  I love the self-confidence they have today and hope they can carry a lot of this into the future.

This year we are taking some action to continue growing their self-esteem.  For my 6 year old, we added some chores over and above what she already does to keep her room tidy.  The chores, which she helped pick out, were chosen because they contribute to the household.  She chose taking the trash baskets from the upstairs and emptying them into our kitchen trash can and using Lysol wipes to clean the kitchen table after dinner a few times a week.  She has been wanting to use the wipes for years now and I finally sat down with her to explain the proper way to use chemicals and entrust her with this chore.  Oh, how she loves to tell everyone about how she contributes to the house!  I know this phase will not last forever, but right now I want to continue to foster her pride in helping contribute to the family so we are making a big deal out of all her help.

For Emma, our focus this year is on potty training.  She has been doing really well at home and we want to carry it over for when we are out of the house.  We are using a timed method because she is non-verbal and non-mobile, but she is starting to make more vocalizations when she wants to go and when she is done and ready to get off. Emma takes a lot of pride in going on the toilet and it shows in her face.  I have high hopes of moving her into pull ups sometimes this year and she is so happy when I talk to her about it.  

I hope that some of the things we are working on this year will continue to foster my children's self esteem.  I'd love to her from you on what you have done to help foster your child's self esteem.

 

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