Your children learn about who they are by what you say and how you respond to them. If you encourage them and treat them with respect, they learn how to treat others the same way. If children are exposed to frequent negativity and harsh words, they are more likely to begin thinking of themselves as “bad.”
Support at Home
Have a system of support and structure in your home. All children feel safer when they know what is expected of them. When they know that, after dinner for example, they have to bathe, it’s easier for them to adjust to new routines.
Start to establish your routines when your children are very young – ideally, they should be babies and toddlers. As examples, teach them to take their dishes to the kitchen and pick up toys every day.
Lead by Example
“Do as I say, not as I do.” What this means for some parents is their kids should ignore their bad behaviors. As the kids get older, these parents shouldn’t be surprised when their kids begin following their own bad examples.
Instead, lead by demonstrating what you expect. Rather than getting into arguments with neighbors, try to solve conflict with calm discussion. Show concern for an abandoned animal and take it in or take it to the Humane Society.
Show You Love Your Kids
Your children pick up on your love when you demonstrate how you feel about them. Caress their cheeks, ruffle their hair, give them frequent kisses and swoop them up into your arms for hugs. If physical affection doesn’t come naturally to you, find some way of expressing your love to your kids.
Introduce New Experiences
Expose your kids to new experiences. As they grow, begin taking them to the zoo, the library or join a play group. If they show an interest in athletics, sign them up for SwimJim swimming classes. Kids who have been sheltered from the world may grow up to be fearful of new experiences, reluctant to try new things.
Praise Their Efforts
Your children might not do something new perfectly the first time, but praise them anyway. “You did such a good job pulling your sheets over your bed! Good job!” Praise them for their efforts, rather than calling them gifted. As your kids become more confident, you’ll see them become more willing to try new things.