Do you have your kids’ problem well in hand?
If so too bad for them!
Problem Solving and Your Child’s Self-Esteem
Children with high self-esteem are more bully resistant, act more responsibly, are happier and more resilient.
So what can you do to help your child develop high self-esteem? Surprisingly enough it is not praise, it is not telling them what a wonderful person they are, and it is most certainly not trying to solve their problems for them.
Actually, it pretty much the opposite. A child’s self-esteem grows when (1) they learn how to solve their problems, (2) they learn they can handle disappointment, challenges and yes, failure and (3) they feel a sense of control over their lives.
Here are some steps you can do to help your child develop self-confidence, self-esteem, and resiliency:
1. Let them own their problems,
2. Let them learn from the consequences of their decisions,
3. Let them have appropriate control over what they do.
How do you feel when you find a solution to a problem you have? Pretty strong and competent, right? That works for your kids too. Letting your child own their problems and finding their own solutions says to your child you trust them and have confidence in not only their ability to find a solution but to handle the consequences. It is a sign of respect.
When a parent takes over a child’s problems and imposes their solutions the message to the child is “YOU CAN’T SOLVE IT YOUR SELF, YOU NEED HELP and you are not strong enough to deal with the consequence of your mistakes.”
Letting them own their problem doesn’t mean abandoning them. It can be as simple as asking them “What are you going to do about that?” then listening to their ideas (without judgment). If they have difficulty coming up with a promising solution you can, in an empowering way, help them problem solve (for more information on how to do that read my blog on Problem Solving With Your Child).
Keep in mind that you’re only helping them come up with their solution, not taking the problem from them. Then let them implement their solution and deal with the consequences.
Their solution may not get them the results they wanted the first time but in the process, they are developing four critical abilities:
1. How to solve their problems,
2. Developing a sense of control
3. Developing resiliency, and
4. A sense of responsibility for their lives thru accepting the consequences of their actions.
These are great and powerful gifts you can give your child and ones that will keep on giving for the rest of their happy and successful lives.