How to Raise a Kid With High Self-Esteem

Kids don’t really listen to what you say. They mostly mimic what you do. That means that if you really want to teach your kid something, it’s best to practice it yourself (see what I just did there).

Self esteem is one of those characteristics that you can never have too much of. Some people spend their whole life looking for approval while others pat themselves on the back. Self-esteem can’t be gained from something you achieve – from the external. It’s more about coming to terms with yourself. Working through the shame and humiliation that may be at the core of it all.

According to Alain De Botton self-esteem is influenced by three dominant scenarios:

1. How your success compares to your same sex parent. The worse you are in comparison, the lower the chance of high self-esteem.
2. How your success compares to the people you went to school with. The worse you are in comparison, the lower the chance of high self-esteem.
3. Whether or not you received conditional love (based on grades or trophies) will lower self-esteem while non conditional love will raise it.

But these don’t need to be set in stone. We can be aware that these mechanisms are in place. We can act differently according to it. And finally we create practices that help us improve.

Nathaniel Daniels in his book 6 pillars of self-esttem breaks down self-esteem into 6 practices:

The practice of living consciously: Disconnecting and living in the moment.
The practice of self-acceptance: Accepting what you can or cannot change.
The practice of self-responsibility: Taking responsibility for your action.
The practice of self-assertiveness: Being able to assert yourself around peer influence.
The practice of living purposefully: Living and working for a purpose.
The practice of personal integrity: Living by your values.

They’re called “practices” for a reason. Because it’s hard and it takes commitment. But the more you practice, the better you get.

Also published on Medium.

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