Cinderella Days! Nurturing A Child’s Self-Esteem!
Perhaps even more fun than seeing the individuality of my own children develop while they were growing up, has been watching the neat, unique personalities of my granddaughters evolve so far!
As parents and grandparents, it behooves us to try and follow the advice given in one of my favorite quotes:
“Children are not things to be molded, but people to be unfolded!” Jess Lair
On a recent Cinderella Day, my granddaughters and I met up with their mom at our local mall for lunch, then the girls rode on some motorized toys for a while. Later, as we were making our way out to my car, the words and geometric heart design on a shirt hanging on the end of a rack caught Makena’s attention. Since she is starting to read now, Makena knew the last word on the shirt said “me”… when I told her that the rest of the words on the top said, “I Believe In Me”, she very candidly replied,
“Well grandma, I think we should all believe in ourselves!”
After brushing away tears, I just had to buy the cute shirt for Makena!
Raising True Believers!
I am not a psychologist by any stretch of the imagination, but I was a daughter of caring parents, and then a mother who loved raising her children. Now that I’m a grandma who dearly cherishes my Cinderella Days, and so many other special times with my sweet granddaughter’s, I’m realizing that although each generation faces its own set of challenges, there seems to be a few fundamental concepts that always hold true in helping to nurture a child’s self-esteem so that they can truly believe in themselves!
Be Brave! We have to be a little fearless at times! Like the words from the song “Brave” by Sara Bareilles, with careful guidance by those who love them, kids are better prepared to:
“…show how big your brave is!”
Effort equals success! Win or lose–when we put forth our best effort, we can always be proud to say that we worked hard!
I love that my daughter and son-in-law, along with my cute granddaughters, work together to follow their family motto of:
Love unconditionally! Even when he had to reprimand me, my dad never missed a chance to tell me he loved me! One of my favorite definitions of self-esteem is:
“Feeling capable while feeling loved!”
Imagine your own dreams, but be inspired by others. Makena is learning to play the violin now after watching some older girls play at a recital. (Parental support is integral here.)
Encouragement is key to feeling good self worth. My husband told our kids that their best pep talks should be the ones they give themselves! I like this Chinese proverb:
“Take risks: if you win, much happiness; if you lose, much wisdom!”
Vocalize feelings. My daughter says that instead of asking her girls about specific details of their day, they respond better when asked how they felt doing an activity.
“How did it feel to play your last soccer game, was it fun?”
Everybody has something to offer! Appreciating other’s strengths, as well as our own, helps us work better together… and isn’t that what life should really be about!
What I’m learning now is…
I’m realizing that like many grandparents, I often feel a little more anxious about sheltering my grandchildren from the tough knocks of life, even more so than I did with my own children–go figure!? What I’m learning now is that some of the hard things we “survived” with our own kids were well worth the effort when we eventually get to witness them become such wonderful parents! I sincerely hope that my young granddaughters will always see me as a positive influence in their lives. I look forward to many more years of being able to watch Makena and Marli (and other grandchildren as they come) grow and mature and continue to embrace life with the same exuberance and conviction that they do now!
I am impressed with so many of the young people today; more often than not, they prove their ability to be resilient despite tough odds sometimes! I’d be interested to hear what bits of wisdom you would offer to help better nurture a child’s self-esteem.