Positive Friendships & Self-Esteem
© Judy Helm Wright http://www.judyhwright.com
Parents, teachers, caregivers, coaches and other caring adults are concerned with how to teach values and self-esteem to the children in their lives. They wonder how to foster positive friendships and discourage those that have a negative influence.
From the moment of birth, our children are soaking up and receiving messages from the world around them. The children learn quickly to judge themselves through the words, actions, attitudes and treatment from others.
Self-esteem, confidence and personal strength is gained by listening and sharing ideas with those who are in their “circle of influence.” Words that tell them who and what they are help them to form a self-image that will reflect their attitude towards life. Both positive and negative.
1. Be Available At Odd Times. Make sure your children know that you value them and will take or make time to share with them. If you really can’t talk right then and there, arrange a time and place and put it in your appointment book. Keep that appointment.
The best conversations we ever had were at midnight over a pizza. I am a morning person and it sometimes meant I had to have a nap so I could get up to visit when they came home from a date. It is also amazing what secrets are shared in a car coming home from a soccer game or middle school dance.
2. Make Your House the “Go-To House.” When you invite your children’s friends to spend time in your home, you create a safe harbor for many children who are afraid to go home. Make them feel welcome and try to get to know them and help them see how healthy, happy families operate. Include them in some of your family activities. Don’t worry about how much you are spending on groceries. Consider it an investment in the future.
3. Affirm Positive Friendships. Talk to your kids about their friends. Find out what they like about this friend. Help them to develop into the friend they would like to have. Rather than over-praise individual kids, talk about what a nice group of kids they are.
Peer pressure, along with bullying and drugs that frightens many parents. When your child is in a group it is easy to “group think” and make decisions, they would not normally do on an individual basis.
The more you know the other parents of your child’s friends they more they will have an extended tribe of adults who are looking out for their backs. Encourage group activities that are well chaperoned and with a purpose, rather than just “hanging out.”
You will want to go to http://www.useencouragingwords.com to claim your free ebook on confidence building. You will also want to join the community of kind, thoughtful people who want respect for all at http://www.judyhwright.com You will be glad you did.