Teaching our children how to love themselves | Teen Ink

Teaching our children how to love themselves

July 2, 2013
By DanielleSK BRONZE, Toronto, Other
DanielleSK BRONZE, Toronto, Other
1 article 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I think a lot, but I don't say much."- Anne Frank

To me, the saddest thing in the world is self-hate among youth. At a young age, we need to be taught how to love ourselves and be at peace with our bodies. If we don't reinforce this kind of positivity, our children will live their whole lives being uncomfortable with who they are.

We perceive children to be blind to real issues, naive and immune to any type of negativity. We don't seem to realize that self-acceptance (or the opposite) begins at a young age. Little do we know that the way we treat or speak to our children will influence their behaviour and the way they perceive themselves. Let's put it this way. If you feed your child kind, loving words,they will grow up feeling loved. Remind them of their worth, they will grow up feeling appreciated. However, if you do nothing but criticize and insult your son or daughter, they will feel the need to rebel. Being someone who was never complimented regularly by her parents, I can guarantee that your child's self-esteem will lower especially when they reach adolescence. If you do not provide them with the love and attention they crave, they will search for it elsewhere. Remember, everything starts at home.

Words hurt a lot more than we think. Sometimes,words are more painful than a slap in the face. What's even worse is that they stick with us and seem to linger in our minds forever. Something you might have said years ago could haunt your child for the rest of his or her life.In your anger, you must be careful with your words. Your day might not be going well, but it gives you no right to hurl insults or direct your anger toward your children. A little joke or tease might sound funny to you, but can really wound somebody else.

We must teach our children how to love themselves before they love other people. It may seem selfish, but they need to know how to put themselves first. Once they are comfortable with themselves, that is when the healing process begins. Once they are at ease with their bodies, that is when they may open themselves up to others without feeling shame or embarrassment. Your duty as a parent is to harvest self-love in your child. When you have done so, you will feel accomplished.

It must be rewarding to know that your child became who they are through your encouragement and support. It must make you smile to know that as well as being a parent, you are a teacher. You have taught your children what it means to be okay with themselves.

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