Dr. Rachelle Vanderheyden-Jug
Did you know?
- Approximately 20% of teens will experience depression before they reach adulthood.
- Teen girls that have a negative view of themselves are 4 times more likely to take part in activities with boys that they’ve ended up regretting later.
- The top wish among all teen girls is for their parents to communicate better with them. This included frequent and more open conversations.
- 7 in 10 girls believe that they are not good enough or don’t measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school and relationships with friends and family members.
- Among high school students, 44% of girls and 15% of boys are attempting to lose weight.
- Over 70% of girls age 15-17 avoid normal daily activities such as attending school when they feel bad about their looks.
- 75% of girls with low self-esteem reported engaging in negative activities like cutting, bullying, smoking, drinking, or disordered eating (compared with 25% of girls with high self-esteem).
When I look back on my life I can say with certainty that my teenage years were the hardest for me to cope with...
I engaged in a lot of behavior and activities that I regret.
I remember getting bullied in almost every single grade.
I also remember vividly partaking in the bullying of other children.
This is how low self-esteem play’s out.
Healthy self-esteem is like your child's armour against the challenges of the world. Kids who know their strengths and weaknesses and feel good about themselves will have an easier time handling conflicts and resisting negative pressures. Your children will tend to smile more readily and enjoy life, are realistic and are much more optimistic.
Sounds good to me!!
In contrast, kids with low self-esteem can find challenges to be sources of major anxiety and frustration. Those who think poorly of themselves have a hard time finding solutions to problems. If given to self-critical thoughts such as "I'm no good" or "I can't do anything right", they may become passive, withdrawn, or depressed. Faced with a new challenge, their immediate response might be "I can't".
Patterns of self-esteem start very early in your child’s life. The concept of success following effort and persistence starts early. Once we reach adulthood, it's harder to make changes to how we see and define ourselves. This is one of the reasons why as a Life By Design Chiropractor I am so adamant on you attending your Think By Design seminar!
So, it's wise to think about developing and promoting self-esteem right away. As our kids try, fail, try again, fail again, and then finally succeed, they develop ideas about their own capabilities. At the same time, they're creating a self-concept based on interactions with other people. This is why your parental involvement is key in helping your kids form accurate, healthy self-perceptions.
Here is what you need to know first:
"We cannot “give” a child self-esteem; but we can support the practices that will lead a child to self-esteem, and abstain from the actions that tend to undermine a child’s self-esteem”. –Nathaniel Branden
“This all sounds great Dr. Rachelle, but now what? How do I help my child have healthy self-esteem!?”
Totally get it, I’ve been there myself and asked myself those same questions that is why I want to help you!
One of the simplest strategies of living consciously and being self-responsible is being conscious of — and taking responsibility for — the words coming out of one’s mouth. Below you will find my 6 communication practices that you can start to implement right now, today, to start the process of building that healthy self-esteem we all want for our kids!
6 Communication Practices to Building Self-Esteem in your Children
1. Encourage child’s self-assessment.
- “Yes” or “No” questions.
- “What do you think?”
- “What did you like most about the zoo today?”
- “What were your best moments of the game today?”
- “Do you feel you prepared enough for the math test?"
2. When praise is in order, appreciate the act or behaviour and do so realistically.
- “You are the greatest baseball player ever!”
- “You are so smart”.
- “Good job”.
- “Wow, really great job on getting to first base so quickly”.
- “Wow, do you see how much you have learned in the past three months? Your hard work is really paying off”.
- “Good job on putting away all your clothes in your room today”.
3. Demonstrate that mistakes are part of life.
- “Here, let me do it”.
- “What have you learned?”
- “What might you do differently next time?"
- Speaking negatively about yourself and others, no gossiping, and no silent treatment.
- When making a mistake oneself; “That didn’t work out so well, I’ll try again".
5. Nurture lessons of self-acceptance.
- Five year old Phillip bursts into the room and screams “I HATE MY BROTHER!"
- “What a terrible thing to say! You don’t mean it! You can’t hate him! He’s your brother!”
- “Wow! You’re really feeling mad at your brother right now! Want to tell me about it, sweetheart?"
- Humiliating behaviour like “I’m ashamed of you”, physical or emotional abuse or rejection such as, “I’m disappointed in you”.
- “I’m surprised...(you failed your test)...I was not expecting this to occur”.
Trust me, this is going to be difficult. It often involves you having to really concentrate on how and what you are telling your children.
But, it really all comes down to this…
Think about your life and how you’ve felt at your lowest points. Would you want anyone, let alone your most precious little person, to feel that way?
No! Of course not.
Then you agree with me that making these changes is worth it!