The Gifts to Give Your Child
We came across an interesting paper written by Dr. Ben Bissell, “Building Self Esteem: The Ten Gifts To Give Your Children."
We are going to give you an overview what we believe these to be, and why they matter. We know that every parent wants to give their children with the best start in life possible. You, just like us are committed to knowing all you can to achieve this.
So what are the gifts?
In order, but not in importance.
1. A good name: This does not refer to their birth name, but rather a nickname, like bossy, or little terror, or a troublemaker, etc. Whilst these names can be humorous and certainly describe some behaviours. They can create permanent labels, and if we are to create labels, would it not be better to give one that builds their self esteem? Like “Smart Steve," because he is always finding ways to get up out of bed, “Thoughtful Annie," because sometimes she will play quietly in the corner, without fuss.
2. Listening to our children: This builds their self-esteem and lets them know they too are important to us, and their opinion matters. And by doing this it helps them create a sense of self worth, but lets them improve their ability to think and express themselves.
3. Letting Your Child Make Decisions: If you give your child the ability to be included in family decisions you let them know their opinion matters in the family. Your child will also begin to feel special about themselves. They will develop an ability to make decisions now and later in life, and be confident about them.
4. Allow Your Child To Feel: Simply put if they hurt themselves, or something makes them sad let them express this. Look to understand rather than make them hold the feeling back.
As an example your child falls down and grazes their knee, this happened with our daughter very recently. Instead of saying, “it is okay, and you're ok now," it would be better to say, I know that hurts and how about we fix that up. Our first instinct is to try and make them feel better immediately, but we need to allow them to express their feelings and show that we understand. This relationship with our child will help them develop the ability to express their feelings now and later in life.
5. Rules, Your Child Needs Them: This provides them with structure and the ability to understand that certain things are not ok. It also lets them know that there are consequences for their actions, which is something that will serve them well later in life. The rules need to be fair, and the consequences appropriate, and this will help them think through their actions.
6. Hugs: Now who does not need a hug, this is the physical act of letting your child know that you love them. And don’t we all need to know that those close to us love us? And can you give your child too much love, and spoil them this way, no. All studies indicate to date, that you cannot love your child too much. Your little one might say mum, that's enough hugs, and that might be your sign :)
7. Laughter & Play: Play is the work of children, and interacting with your child making a puzzle, building a tower, picking the toy your baby through on the floor, only so they can through it back again, builds trust and a sense of fun. They learn to communicate, interact, enjoy life and achieve, whilst enjoying the action along the way. Take a moment to chase your little one around the house, play peekaboo, or just tickle them. Life is meant to be fun, and they should believe this too.
8. Permission To Make Mistakes: Mistakes are good, that means we are learning and trying, both as adults and children. By allowing your child to make mistakes, you give them the permission to learn from them. If your child is to busy covering up their mistakes, they simply cannot learn from them. Because hiding becomes the priority and not what they learned out of the experience. Let them make mistakes, and learn, they will do this for the rest of their life, just like us.
9. The Truth: We need to tell our children the truth, they can handle it. It is important to consider the child’s age and maturity, but by telling your child the truth, you let them know that you trust them. They will in turn tell you the truth. Your child does not follow your words, they follow your example.
10. Freedom: The chance to learn and explore, and to grow into a little lady, or gentleman. This of course is also dependent upon age, and the boundaries available considering our own circumstances.
Ten wonderful gifts that you can give your child, that cost nothing but will be priceless.