“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
“There are two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings.”
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
Self-esteem is the foundation of a successful, and happy life. It does not matter what kind of expert you listen to, whether it be financial coaches, nutrition coaches, business coaches, health coaches, fitness coaches, parenting coaches, the bottom line is this: they all say that to be successful, people need a healthy amount of self-esteem.
When people love themselves, they take better care of themselves, others and have clear boundaries. They make better choices, are happier, have healthier relationships, and feel empowered. They do not let external circumstances define them; they are self-accepting, less judgmental of themselves and others. They do not feel the need to be people pleasers. They follow their beliefs and values, and not those dictated by others or the media. They defend what they believe in and don’t cave into peer pressure. Most importantly, people with healthy self-esteems know they are deserving of love and respect. They do not tolerate abuse or mistreatment; they walk away from it. They have integrity.
Individuals with healthy self-esteem are not only respectful of themselves, but they are also respectful and empathic to others and the environment. They are not prejudiced, racist, sexist, and do not strive to crush others to elevate themselves. They take on life’s challenges head on and are not victimised by them, thus reducing unnecessary suffering. Moreover, this is what every parent dreams of for their children: the kind of self-love that will carry them through life.
Until we learn to love ourselves, the world will mirror back to us that lack. People with low self-esteem tolerate from others the same kind of mistreatment that they inflict upon themselves. People’s worlds drastically change for the better when they genuinely start to embrace who they are.
To become this kind of adult, it starts at the root of life. Feeding and nurturing the precious stage of infancy and early childhood, and parenting consciously by being fully present. Parents do not fully realise the amount of influence and power they have over elevating or crushing their child’s self-esteem. Parents are too often concerned with external accomplishments and doing (as opposed to just being), and don’t invest as much effort into the actions that feed, foster and maintain a child’s precious self-esteem.
Traditional values of connection, sharing, cooperation, and collaboration have been replaced by messages of consumerism, superficiality, outer achievements as opposed to inner growth. The media and social pressures have cleverly orchestrated these messages and values to do more and have more.
Most of us have a wounded inner child that needs to be healed. On the journey to caring for our child’s self-esteem, we can heal our own. In this sense, our children become our greatest teachers, and we can grow together, side by side. Children are precious and deserving of their birthright to being loved unconditionally. Children are born with healthy self-esteem. It is our duty to make sure it stays this way.
Children with healthy self-esteems are happier, more resilient, self-confident, and able to ward off bullies or negative influences. Children with healthy self-esteems usually have a closer relationship with their parents. They are not afraid of being themselves and open up to their parents because they have been loved unconditionally. These children grow up to become adults with the wonderful qualities I have mentioned earlier.
Raising children with healthy self-esteems is the greatest gift we can offer them. It stems from a strong attachment and being loved unconditionally. Let’s not be short-sighted, lets place the relationship in the forefront and not worry so much about discipline and external achievements. Moreover, keep this in mind when parenting your kids: wouldn’t it be nice if they spoke kindly of you when they become adults and not grow up to be filled with bitterness, and resentments?
I leave you with this song. Pay attention to the lyrics… and ask yourself “will my child speak of me in such kind words when he/she is older?”. I sure hope so.