Outside of adult supervision that interferes, self-image governs a child’s life just as it does with each of us older kids. It guides us to do what we can do, avoid what we can’t do, and makes sense of everything else on our own behalf.
However, the heart of this series promotes and encourages moms to help children to like themselves better.
Deeply embedded but floating on the foundation of self-esteem, a child’s self-image also contains the personally identified conviction of what and who he is and how well or unwell he likes himself. It ranges high, low, or in between. He’s not conscious about it that way. He just feels wanted and worthy about himself, terribly unwanted and unworthy, or somewhere in between. His attitude most of the time reflects his conviction.
A constant attitude of unworthiness suggests a child is headed toward self-destructive behavior. A significantly and constantly enjoyable sense of ample worthiness suggests the opposite.
Mom’s job: Make her child have an even greater sense of worthiness as he perceives it. How?
Short of scolding, provide guidance through loving, educating, training, leading, coaching, advising, preaching, suggesting, and hinting that encourages him to try harder, plunge deeper, and in his own way overcome obstacles. The more he does it his way and without direct help, the more meaningful, admirable, and enhancing to his sense of worthiness as he perceives himself.
This series aims to encourage mothers to drop the ineffective help concocted under the label of self-esteem and show kids how to take care of themselves at a maturity level that moves upward slightly ahead of current age. I provide some ideas and tips.
Don’t demand, guide. Don’t condemn, abide. Enable children to learn to accomplish more. Boys thus learn to habitually work; girls thus learn to habitually add to their importance. Both are born to love learning when they get to do it their way aka self-development. Motherly sensitivity enables moms to make adjustments for individuals, while also using peaceful methods to teach kids to follow family values and standards. Kids want to be flexible when well guided.
They can anticipate before they participate, please self first while respecting others, please others as appropriate, respect everyone, accept responsibility as right thing to do, boldly answer for mistakes, hold self accountable (ill feelings) for not fulfilling responsibility, depend on self-praise to uplift spirits, know temper flare-ups as unacceptable, accept greater responsibility as maturity grows, earn respect instead of seeking to be liked, learn difference between selfish and self-centered, and solve their own problems until they absolutely need help.
Success handling each incident above is an accomplishment doing what parents like to witness, which makes them like themselves too.
Children can accept new responsibility and stand ready to be held accountable. For example, toddler boys can be taught to make their bed and keep their rooms up to mom’s expectations under this process. Assign him the responsibility, teach the rudiments, and let him set the standards of his performance for the first few months or even years.Mom, don’t complain while you gently guide his habit and standard to grow alongside his maturing. Someday he will meet your expectation.
To please mom from first day, is to earn some admiration, which he can at a young age transmute into self-admiration. It means that pleasing mom earns her admiration and he likes himself better. Not from what she says but what he does.
It’s how men come to love their work; they learn early the habit to please themselves by fulfilling their responsibility, their duty. It helps build the best of masculine habits. As the saying goes, the man who loves his job never has to go to work. It all arises out of manly motivation of seeking self-admiration until satisfaction sets in. It can work in a boy’s bedroom, but perhaps not up to his love of doing it. But duty has the same effect, men like and often love to do their duty to the point they often do it without notice.
If you desire more detail about self-image, almost a dozen articles are scattered with that term in the title.
Children have ambitions to be liked. Also embedded in self-image are factors surrounding ambitions but by another name, self-interest. It’s next.