Have you ever come across a situation where you little one has come complaining about how her friend mentioned to her that her dress in not looking good? Or, how her class mates make fun of her name, or how her friends judge her accent, or how she is not included in a group just because she has different extra-curricular interests?
Surely, each one of us have been through this agony of seeing our child being labelled, judged or criticized for nothing or for being unique. Isn’t this so upsetting to know how young kids judge each other? But, are these small kids need to be blamed for how they think and behave? No, actually they pick up such traits only from elders like parents, teachers, relatives, friends, etc.
We as a society have evolved in various aspects of life like technology, education, etc, but we have deteriorated in various other aspects like moral values, ethics, accepting others, being truthful, self-esteem, etc. We as people seem to have lost the joy of being together and accepting each other the way we are.
The same behaviour gets copied by the kids. They see, observe and absorb the vibrations of thoughts they are exposed to. You will see a lot of politics happening in small kids which was missing back in the golden days. Though, we cannot go around changing other kids about behavioural issues but we can surely work on our own child’s self-worth which will make him/her ineffective to others critical behaviour.
How to raise the self-worth of my child?
This is what you can do as a regular practice:
- Each one of us is unique: You need to teach your child that he or she is unique in all respects. Talk to your child about your her likings and interests. Have a regular sessions to tell stories to your child where the message of being unique is conveyed well through stories or through your personal anecdotes or anything of that sort.
Do an activity where you and your child list out the unique qualities of each family member. This will reinforce in your child that each one of us is different and there is no need to fit into any stereotype.
Slowly, the child will be sportive towards being left out from a group because he would have learnt to respect his own choices and preferences. By doing the below mentioned activities your kid will be confident to demonstrate his own unique skills, opinions and choices at school or while playing if you make him realize this one bit that we are all unique.
- Describe to your child things that are in her control and things that she cannot control. You can use the worksheet given below to impart this learning to your child.
- Show your child various other options: If your child finds it difficult to make friends at school, never mind school is just one part of life. You must help your child build friends at home. Enrol your child in some activities that he or she likes.
If your child walks up to you and ask how is the painting done by him looking, then you must instead ask, ‘what is it that he likes in it’? or, how much fun it was to paint it? This will reduce his dependability on others feedback and he will learn to pursue his interests irrespective of what others tell him.
This will help the child to look within for answers rather than going around and asking peers about their opinion. Because in 99% cases, other kids end up making comparisons when asked for feedback which can hurt the child’s morale.
Make your child participate in various activities both in and out of the school. It will broaden the child’s perspective towards doing different things and will help in understanding that fights, bullying, isolation are few petty issues and he will be better equipped to deal with them.
Even small kids falling in 2-4 year age group are extremely sensitive about their reputation. They take every good or bad feedback about them to their little hearts. By broadening their perspective, you are smartly and subtly engaging their minds into various activities and building their confidence through these extra-curricular activities.
Tip: As a parent, never compare your child’s talent, interest or capabilities to any other child. It is like insulting your child’s uniqueness which hurts him or her somewhere deep inside.