A Parents Guide to Calming Household Chaos

A Parent’s Guide to Calming Household Chaos

Considering how much noise, mess, and time pressures kids create, you’d think they thrive on disorder. However, too much chaos can affect their physical and emotional development.

Numerous studies have found that children growing up in chaotic households tend to have lower grades, less self-control, and poorer health. Contributing factors include excess noise, lack of family routines, overcrowding, and general disorganization. If you think your home could use more harmony, take a look at these ideas.

Suggestions for Dealing with Excess Noise

Research suggests that the two biggest negative influences on toddlers were having the TV on much of the day, along with the absence of family routines. Try lowering the volume in your house.

Designate quiet hours. Set aside time for reading and other quiet activities free from electronics, music, and loud conversations. Go a step further and leave the TV off round the clock unless you plan to watch a specific program.

Lower your voice. Try to catch yourself raising your voice or interrupting each other. Make an effort to speak softly.

Listen carefully. It’s easier to pay attention to each other when it’s quiet. Encourage your child to share their feelings and concerns.

Suggestions for Creating Family Routines

Children need consistency to feel secure. Planning ahead also helps you to save time and stay on track.

  1. Set regular bedtimes. Enforce age-appropriate bedtimes that encourage healthy sleep habits. Change into pajamas, dim the lights, and read stories to prepare for sleep.
  2. Eat together. Kids with regular mealtimes perform better in school and consume more vegetables. The dinner hour also gives you a chance for extended conversations and closer relationships.

Hold family meetings. Use weekly meetings to continue communications and bonding. Stay positive and include each family member in the discussion. Remember to put some fun items on the agenda like eating ice cream or planning vacations.

More Ideas

Once you tackle the main household issues, you may want to pursue even more structure and calm. Consider these strategies.

  1. Review your parenting style. Some studies found harsher discipline and less supportive parenting in chaotic households. While there are plenty of exceptions, it’s a good reminder to hug your kids today and tell them when they do something that makes you proud.

Provide learning materials. Books and creative play help fight disorder. Visit your local library or conduct simple science experiments at home.

Rest and relax. Show your kids how to manage stress. Meditate briefly each day and take a walk after dinner. Listen to soft music or practice deep breathing exercises.

Tidy up. Your physical environment can produce anxiety or soothe your senses. Reduce clutter by selling or giving away unwanted items. Focus on buying less stuff and designing attractive storage solutions for the possessions you want to keep.

Pull together. Give each family member a part to play in transforming your household. Small children may want to put away their toys while teens can bring you up to date on apps for managing your time and tasks.

Set priorities. Of course, there’s bound to be some confusion when you’re living with children. Pick one or two areas at a time where you want to become more organized. Pay attention to what your family does well and evaluate your progress.

Turning off the TV and creating enriching family rituals will go a long way towards providing the nourishing and stable environment your children need. Tame the chaos at home to enjoy more happiness and help your children succeed in life.

A Busy Mothers Guide to Minimalism

A Busy Mother’s Guide to Minimalism

Motherhood can increase your motivation to live simply, and at the same time make it harder to cut back. You want to be a good role model, but a growing family tends to accumulate more possessions and commit to more activities.

While minimalism is likely to help you save money, there are other benefits that may be even more important. You’ll have fewer distractions and more time and energy to devote to your family.

You can enjoy the advantages of a simpler life whatever your circumstances and philosophy. Maybe you’re simplifying voluntarily or under pressure from financial setbacks. Maybe you define minimalism as growing your own food and making your own clothes or just spending less money at restaurants and shopping malls.

As you’re deciding what works for your family, consider these principles and strategies for minimalist mothers.

General Principles for Minimalist Mothers:

  1. Slow down. Calm your mind and clarify your thinking by resisting the urge to rush. You’ll feel more creative, and you’ll accomplish more with less effort.
  2. Appreciate boredom. Give your children the opportunity to become bored. Modern life makes it easy to go through the day being passively entertained. When they’re forced to rely on their own resources, your children will discover the power of their imagination and the benefits of unstructured play.
  3. Connect with nature. The beauty and peace of green spaces enhances our mental and physical health. Take your children for a walk through the park. Visit forests and oceans when you vacation.
  4. Avoid comparisons. Watching celebrity couples with full time nannies or reading Super Mom blogs can make anyone doubt their parenting skills. Set your own standards and work at being the best version of you.
  5. Network with other parents. Make friends with other parents in your neighborhood. You can exchange advice as well as outgrown clothing and toys.
  6. Manage stress. Show your children how to set aside time for reflection and relaxation. Try meditating briefly or taking a few deep breaths.

Specific Strategies for Minimalist Mothers:

  1. Eat as a family. Eating as a family leads to closer relationships and better nutrition. Join each other at the dinner table for a homemade meal at least once a week.
  2. Divide up chores. Learning to take responsibility prepares children for adulthood. Assign age-appropriate tasks to each family member instead of trying to do everything yourself.
  3. Run errands together. Use your time more efficiently by bringing your children with you to the grocery store. They can practice reading labels and doing arithmetic.
  4. Limit toys. It’s difficult to keep toys from multiplying, especially around birthdays and holidays. Create a system for keeping the total volume under control. You might want to try rotating toys by giving your child only a few to play with each week. Or, encourage regular toy donations to charities that help kids.
  5. Reduce clutter. Consider what other items you have around the house that you rarely use. You can clean your house faster when you get rid of clutter. Your surroundings will also feel more comfortable and look more attractive.
  6. Monitor technology. The internet can be used wisely for communication and education, but too much screen time can hinder your child’s development. Create house rules like no phones at the dinner table and turning off all devices at least two hours before bedtime.

However far you decide to go with minimizing your consumption, you’ll be teaching your children to value a more mindful and meaningful life. Buying and owning less stuff will give you the freedom to enjoy what you already have.

How Children Can Sabotage Marriage Happiness and What to Do About It

How Children Can Sabotage Marriage Happiness and What to Do About It

Married couples frequently complain that their children affect their relationships. From not having enough personal time to not being able to spend money on your spouse, it sometimes seems like kids can turn a relationship into a challenge.

Now, research supports that having kids can affect your marriage in negative ways.

Discover how to overcome these effects and still have a happy marriage and family:

  1. Research results. Children are often considered a joy in marriage and a blessing for couples. However, researchers have found that the reality is different. After studying marriages for decades, researchers have found that kids have a profound impact on them.
  • In most cases, kids tend to hurt relationships because the partners can’t focus on each other as much. In addition, kids tend to bring extra stress and expenses, so the relationship suffers.
  • Many couples end up divorced because the appearance of kids adds strain to an already weak relationship.
  • Researchers compared couples with kids to couples without kids and noticed that satisfaction with the marriage went down as children were born.
  • It’s important to note that not all marriages suffer once children are in the picture. Some actually do get stronger and better.
  1. Marriage myths. One of the myths that researchers mention is that couples think children will bring them closer together.
  • Researchers believe this myth became popular because children are necessary for society’s survival. So, couples were encouraged to have more kids to ensure civilization continued.
  • Children affect their parent’s identities, finances, and lifestyles. All of these factors can be hurt in a marriage. They can also change your body and your perceptions about each other in your relationship.
  1. What you can do. Children can be a joy. You can appreciate and love your children while being proactive about keeping your couples’ relationship healthy.
  • Spend time with your partner alone. Set aside a date night each week or two. Many married couples struggle with this idea and find it hard to find a babysitter. In this situation, an early bedtime works, too. Let the kids have a “campout” in their room so they’ll look forward to going to their room early.
  • It’s also important to spend time by yourself. A healthy marriage depends on personal time, so your identity is not lost in the shuffle. Carve out some alone time to pursue your hobbies and interests and take time to recharge.
  • Remember your lives before you had kids. Remind yourself why you fell in love. Many couples identify themselves as simply a mother or father, but you’re more than this. You’re talented and unique, and so is your partner.
  • If one partner stays home with the kids while the other one works, resentment and frustration can build up. The partner at home can feel unappreciated and ignored while the one who works can feel stressed out by all the financial burdens being on their shoulders. Take steps to show love and appreciation for each other and what they do.

Children take a great deal of time, effort, and money. That’s just the way life is. Consciously create routines that positively affect each member of the family and strengthen your bond with your partner each day.

Children don’t stay little forever. They grow up fast. Someday sooner than you think, you and your partner could be looking back on these days as the best days ever – a time when you strengthened your love and commitment to each other for the rest of your lives.

Bully Proof Your Child

Bully-Proof Your Child

Most children experience some bullying over 12+ years of education. Fortunately, few children have to deal with excessive bullying over a long period of time. Schools are much better at taking these matters seriously today. While some children take a little bullying in stride, others find the experience very stressful.

It’s estimated that 160,000 students miss school each day because they’re afraid of someone at school. It’s heartbreaking to imagine your child as a member of that statistic.

Bullies are sad or troubled children that build their self-esteem by making other children miserable. They feel powerful when they can upset another child. While a bully is deserving of pity, it’s hard to be sympathetic when your child is being bullied.

Children will often hide the fact that they’re a bullying victim. They may try to avoid school by pretending to be sick, have trouble sleeping, or be moody in general. When a child that normally likes school suddenly shows signs of disliking it, they might be the victim of a bully.

There are many things you can do to reduce the odds of your child falling victim to a bully:

  1. Develop your child’s self-esteem. We’re all more capable when we feel good about ourselves. You child is no different. A child with healthy self-esteem is in a better position to handle bullying and seek help when necessary.
  • Bullies are also more likely to pick on those with low self-esteem. Unfortunately, these children make the easiest targets and put up the least resistance.
  1. Teach your child to be a problem-solver. No matter what challenge your child faces, teach them to approach the issue from the perspective of a problem-solver. A child that develops the habit of resolving challenges will be more capable of dealing with a bully successfully.
  • Allow your child to help you find solutions to challenges at home. Imagine you can’t find your keys. You could walk your young child through the process of locating them.
  1. Avoid allowing your child to be a victim. Some children learn to cope with stress and anxiety by playing helpless. They’ve learned that an adult will come and solve their problems for them. Teach your child to deal with their challenges assertively. Rather than allowing themselves to be bullied, a non-victim will seek the help they require.
  • Avoid swooping in to save your child every time they experience stress or a disagreement at home. Teach them how to handle psychological pressure in a healthy and assertive manner.
  1. Encourage your child to make friends at school. Those that are socially isolated make the easiest targets for bullies. Get to know the other mothers. Encourage your child to bring a friend home after school. A child with good social support is bully-proof.
  • Over half of bullying situations end when a peer gets involved in the situation. Friends are the key to avoiding bullies.
  1. Get the school involved. If your child is being bullied, involve the school. Avoid dealing directly with the other parents outside of a mediated environment. School officials take bullying very seriously. No child wants to have his parents dragged into school. Offering a little resistance can be a good way to get other children to leave yours alone.
  2. Encourage your child to discuss school. Communicate with your child daily about school and any other issues they might be having.

No child can truly be bully-proof. But you can come close. A confident, assertive child with a close group of friends isn’t an attractive target for a bully. Help your child to become confident and value themselves. No child should have to deal with a bully.

8 Things That Happy Couples Do

8 Things That Happy Couples Do

Would you like to have a stronger, happier relationship? Happiness in a relationship is the result of several small things done on a daily basis. These small tasks are within your capabilities. A little time and attention can grow your relationship into a great source of happiness for both of you.

Strengthen your relationship each day by following these strategies of happy couples:

  1. Confront each other effectively. No relationship is free from disagreements. The most important issue is how those disagreements are handled. Handle your disagreements quickly and fairly. Address behaviors and forget about personal insults. Seek to find a resolution rather than proving who is right or wrong.
  2. Have compatible goals. Is your dream to travel the world, never staying in one place for more than a few months? Is your partner’s dream to have five kids and live in her hometown, having dinner with her parents every night? One of you is going to be miserable.
  • Your goals don’t have to match precisely, but they must be compatible. Otherwise, one of you will have to sacrifice too much to make the other happy.
  1. Forgive easily. Holding a grudge breeds contempt and upsets the other person. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone has a bad day once in a while. Forgive quickly and easily.
  2. Grow together and separately. Try new things together. See new places. But also make the time to grow independently. You can learn to surf while he learns how to paint. Do some new things together and others apart.
  3. Empathize. When you’re taking on the world by yourself, you can afford to be a little more single-minded and selfish in your approach. When you’re part of a couple, it’s important to consider the other’s feelings and point of view.
  4. Make time for each other. It’s so easy to split your time and attention between work, household duties, and the minutiae of life. Ensure that you spend quality time with your partner each day. If you don’t make time, it’s too easy to suffer from a lack of time. Make this a priority in your life.
  5. Focus more on your partner’s good qualities than their bad. Does your spouse always leave the toilet seat up? Does it make you furious? What if someone told you they knew for a fact that a particular man was perfect for you, but he had one annoying habit: he left the toilet seat up? Would you say, “Forget it?” Of course not.
  • It’s easy to focus on a few negative traits and form strong negative emotions. Spend your time focusing on your partner’s positive qualities and notice how your perception of them changes.
  1. Listen to each other. It’s not easy to listen to a 10-minute story about buying a pair of shoes or the details of the Cowboys’ final drive for a winning touchdown. But it’s necessary to show interest and give your attention.
  • Once you stop listening, the other person stops communicating. The relationship is then on a downhill slide. Listening is a skill that anyone can master. Give your partner your full attention.

Your relationship can be a great source of happiness or grief. Your partner and you can create a relationship that brings happiness to your lives. Make time for each other and be willing to listen. Find common interests that you can explore together. Remember to also make time for yourself. Do these things and you’ll build on your relationship each day.

A Parents Guide to Raising Compassionate Children

A Parent’s Guide to Raising Compassionate Children

Every parent secretly worries their baby will grow up to be the next Hitler, Charles Manson, or just the bully at school. While all children are individuals with their own personalities, parents have a tremendous amount of influence. There are many things a parent can do to teach sensitivity, compassion, and concern for others.

A compassionate child is a gift to the world:

  1. Set a good example. Demonstrate compassion and your children will mimic your behavior. Are you compassionate with others? Or are you harsh and inconsiderate? Your child looks to you for cues regarding how to behave and view the world. Be the best example you can be.
  • What are the logical conclusions your child would reach from observing how to interact with others?
  1. Point out when others are compassionate. When you observe someone showing compassion, talk about it with your child. It can be an event in everyday life or a character in a movie. It’s as easy as saying, “Wow, the princess is being so nice to that boy. She really cares about his feelings. I bet he likes that.”
  2. Spend time with your child doing things for others. Take your unneeded clothes to Goodwill and explain the reasons to your child. Encourage your child to donate toys so less fortunate children can have toys, too.
  3. Encourage your child to help others. Perhaps you notice your child helping his sister to put her toys away. Acknowledge it and praise your child. Behaviors that are rewarded are more likely to reoccur.
  4. Get a pet. A pet provides an opportunity for a child to take care of another living creature. Most children love animals and a pet is excellent practice for demonstrating compassion. Dogs and kids become fast friends and enjoy looking out for each other.
  5. Discuss feelings. Start a conversation about feelings whenever the opportunity arises. Share your own feelings too. Explain how you feel after a bad day or when something good happens.
  • How did you feel when mommy told you that it was time for bed?
  • How does your brother feel when you take his toys?
  • I saw your friend, Alice, crying after school today. What happened?
  • How do you feel on Christmas morning?
  1. Set rules at home that show respect for others. The behavior you demand at home influences their behavior outside the home. Set standards at home that encourage compassion. A few ideas include:
  • No hitting.
  • No name-calling.
  • Everyone helps with dinner – setting the table, washing the dishes, and so on.
  • Share and take turns.
  1. Assign chores. Chores provide a sense of responsibility and demonstrate the need to do things for the common good. Chores help the parents and create a more pleasant home environment for everyone in the family. Give your child a few chores to do and explain why they’re important.

Parents have a great responsibility to teach compassion at home. It’s not always taught at school. Almost every child can list 25 bad behaviors on command. But schools fail at teaching children how to treat each other.

Teach your child to be compassionate to others. It not only benefits your child, but it also benefits the rest of the world, too. Take a few minutes each day to teach your child this important skill and mindset.

A Busy Parents Guide to Mindfulness

A Busy Parent’s Guide to Mindfulness

Being a parent doubles your reasons for being mindful because living in the moment benefits you and your children. As you increase your own peace of mind, you’re becoming a stronger role model for the rest of your family. Your children will feel more secure and may be less likely to engage in risky behavior

Try these practical tips for living in the present moment.

Tips for Mindful Discipline

Discipline is more effective when you focus on training rather than punishment. When you learn to understand your own emotions and triggers, you build your capacity to respond constructively under pressure.

Try these activities to bring more mindfulness into your discipline:

  1. Pause first. If you’re tempted to yell or nag, take a breath first. Consider your options. Maybe your child needs a reminder or maybe they need a more detailed explanation of what you define as keeping their room clean.
  2. Think positive. Pay attention to what your child does well, in addition to their lapses. Focus on working together to find solutions instead of imposing penalties.
  3. Listen closely. Let your child know that you’re willing to hear their side of the story. Validate their feelings even if you disagree with their behavior.
  4. Prioritize your relationship. Keep mishaps in perspective. Your relationship with your child is more important than any individual episode. Be willing to make exceptions to your own rules when it serves the greater good.

Tips for Mindful Leisure

Even if your free time is limited, you can use it productively.

Use these methods to give your child a head start on developing mindful habits that will enrich their life:

  1. Manage technology. Set limits on TV and computer time when it’s not related to school work. Turn off all devices at least an hour before bedtime to promote more restful sleep.
  2. Develop hobbies. Encourage your child to explore their interests. Hobbies can help them to reduce stress, express their creativity, and pick up new skills.
  3. Continue learning. Support your child’s motivation to learn. Volunteer at their school and read bedtime stories at home.
  4. Encourage giving. Mindfulness and generosity reinforce each other as you experience the joys of giving. Volunteer as a family at a local animal shelter or food kitchen. Praise your child when they carry groceries for a neighbor or lend their notes to a classmate.

General Tips for Mindful Parenting

Mindfulness is a way of life. Look for opportunities throughout your day to let go of expectations and make conscious choices.

Consider these strategies:

  1. Eat together. Make family meals a regular habit. Sit down for breakfast each morning or designate at least one night when everyone has dinner at the same time.
  2. Create morning rituals. Start the day by sharing a practice that reminds you to stay mindful. Take a walk around the block together. Write in a gratitude journal.
  3. Meditate regularly. Seated meditation isn’t the only way to practice mindfulness, but it is one of the most powerful tools. Start out gradually so your children will enjoy it.
  4. Play games. Make your mindfulness sessions fun. Draw pictures and listen to songs. Put on a puppet show or wear special costumes.
  5. Find an app. If you’re looking for more ideas, browse online. There are many free meditation and mindfulness apps, and some of them are designed especially for parents and children.

Mindfulness is one of the most valuable gifts you can pass on to your children. Help your family members to awaken to their potential and experience more peace and happiness.

To Parents of Female Student Athletes

To Parents of Female Student Athletes

A recent Gallup poll provides more good news for female student athletes and their parents. Researchers found that female former student-athletes outperformed other college graduates on important career and life outcomes. In fact, girls who played sports enjoyed even greater returns on their efforts than their male counterparts.

Take a look at what your daughters have to gain from athletics, and learn effective strategies for enhancing their performance both in the classroom and on the field. Parental involvement is key to helping girls reach their potential.

Benefits of Sports Participation for Girls

Succeed in the workplace. According to that Gallup poll, girls who played NCAA sports in college were more likely to be employed full time (62%) compared to the rest of the girls in their class (56%). They were also more likely to be engaged in their work.

Build confidence. The Gallup poll reinforces many other studies that have found that female athletes have higher confidence and self-esteem. Helping your daughter to feel good about herself prepares her for a more satisfying life.

Enjoy greater general wellbeing. The most dramatic findings of the Gallup poll were related to physical health. Among female athletes, 47% reported good health and high energy compared to 33% of female non-athletes. They were also more likely to say they had strong and loving relationships.

General Tips for Parents of Female Student Athletes

  1. Teach time management. One of the greatest challenges your daughter will face is juggling academic and social activities while devoting adequate time to the sport she loves. Show her how to prioritize and stay organized. Discuss making choices and download a scheduling app.
  2. Focus on learning. Pay attention to both studies and sports. Your child’s GPA may determine whether she’s eligible for a scholarship, and what she learns in school will definitely shape her future.

Give praise for effort. Your daughter may struggle with competitive pressures. Let her know you love her unconditionally. Recognize her hard work regardless of the results.

Develop healthy habits. Athletes put extra demands on their bodies, so special care is needed. Be a positive role model when it comes to nutrition and exercise.

Monitor stress and injuries. Kids often feel invincible, but chronic stress or playing with an injury can take its toll. Share relaxation practices like meditation or classical music. Be firm about taking time off to recover from sprains or muscle tears.

Talk about substance abuse. Popular kids may be even more likely to wind up in social situations where alcohol and drugs are present. Start early with presenting your child with age-appropriate facts. Rehearse how to respond to different temptations.

Spend time together. You’re a big influence in your child’s life. Listen respectfully to what they have to say. Set aside one-on-one time to bond more closely.

Recruitment Tips for Parents of Female Student Athletes

  1. Broaden your options. However talented your child is, consider academics and social life as well as sports when you’re looking at colleges. Smaller schools may offer more advantages than the high profile colleges you think of first.
  2. Create a video. A simple highlights video is one of the most efficient and effective tools for helping your child to be noticed. Post it on YouTube or send it to coaches.

Encourage independence. Remember that it’s your role to be supportive while your child decides where they want to spend their college years. You succeed as a parent when your daughter can stand on her own.

Girls who play sports face high hurdles, but score big wins when they manage to balance their athletic, academic, and social lives. As a parent, you can provide the guidance and support they need to fulfill their dreams.

A Parents Guide to Stopping Your Childs Whining

A Parent’s Guide to Stopping Your Child’s Whining

When your child starts to whine, a simple trip to the grocery store can turn into an ordeal. You want to get home quickly to make dinner, but now you’re falling behind schedule. You try to remain patient, but those high-pitched wails frazzle your nerves.

While it may be tempting to lose your temper or give in to your child’s pleas, there are more constructive alternatives.

Learn how to deal with whining and prevent it before it starts.

What to Do When Your Child Whines:

  1. Stay calm. Your child will pick up on your mood so ensure you’re doing what you can to reduce both your stress levels. Take a deep breath and smile. Speak softly and clearly.
  2. Stand fast. Giving your child what they ask for is the quickest way to stop their whining, but that approach will backfire in the long run. That’s because you’re training them to believe that whining works. Instead, hold your ground.
  3. Suggest alternatives. Let your child know that it’s okay to ask for what they want in a courteous manner. Role play so they can understand the difference between a shrill voice and a pleasant one.
  4. Offer positive reinforcement. Praise your child when they behave well. Applaud their efforts to put their their feelings into words and seek mutually satisfactory solutions. Let them know that such achievements are difficult even for grown-ups.
  5. Lighten up. You may feel like there’s a spotlight shining on you when your child has a meltdown in the school parking lot. In reality, most parents know that it’s natural for kids to whine, and you may have more sympathy and support than you realize.
  6. Rule out medical causes. While most whining is harmless, it could sometimes be a sign that your child is under the weather. If they seem more irritable or fidgety than usual, check for health issues first.

How to Prevent Your Child From Whining:

  1. Nurture your connection. Your child’s grumbling is often a way of seeking more of your attention. Make it a top priority to spend significant family time and one-on-one time together on a daily basis.
  2. Learn and play. Adequate stimulation will also reduce whining. Share fun and enriching activities with your child like reading books and playing outdoor games. Buy a family membership at a local science museum or community pool.
  3. Enforce bedtimes. Many modern children are sleep-deprived. Try moving bedtimes back an hour and stick to a consistent schedule even on weekends.
  4. Encourage healthy eating. A nutritious diet will give your child more energy and help to stabilize their blood sugar. Plan balanced meals and healthy snacks, including plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  5. Take breaks. If your child is acting up, you may have exceeded their attention span. Switch activities or give them a little quiet time to refresh and recharge.
  6. Avoid other triggers. In addition to the events that most children find to be a little stressful, your child may have their own personal triggers. Pay attention to when they whine to see if it may be related to something going on at school or at home.
  7. Be a positive role model. Your child will be less likely to whine if you avoid excessive complaining too. Monitor your conversations to ensure that you’re setting the kind of example you want them to follow.

Give your child the attention they need, and teach them how to replace whining with more effective communication styles. You’ll enjoy your time together more, and you’ll prepare your child to interact politely and respectfully with others as they grow older.

12 Tips to Boost Your Childs Self Esteem

12 Tips to Boost Your Child’s Self-Esteem

Everything in life is better when your self-esteem is high. Good things seem even better. Bad things are easier to tolerate and manage. The same is true for your child. A child with high self-esteem will do better in school, be more likely to avoid drugs and sexual activity, and be happier in general. Low self-esteem is a burden regardless of age.

As a parent, you have a tremendous influence on your child’s self-esteem. Make good use of that influence!

Help your child develop their self-esteem:

  1. Create opportunities for your child to be successful. Give your child a meaningful task to do that you know will result in success. Success breeds confidence and additional success. Give your child regular opportunities to experience success.
  2. Create a wall of fame. This can be a place to put trophies, report cards, favorite art work, ribbons, badges, and other awards. How could anyone not feel pride and confidence when a wall of fame is there for viewing each day?
  3. Monitor your children’s friends. Some friends are more kind than others. Try to steer your child toward other children that are kind and supportive. Find a way to limit time spent with those children that are less supportive.
  4. Give your child some control. It’s easier to have self-esteem when you feel in control of your life. The easiest way to avoid a battle is to give your child choices, but you create the choices. “Do you want a banana, apple, or orange in your lunch today?” is a better question than, “What do you want to eat?”
  5. Love your child unconditionally. It’s a mistake to make a child feel less loved because of misbehavior or a mistake. Deal with poor behavior, but avoid withholding your love.
  6. Pay attention to your child. Nothing sends the message, “You’re not important” as effectively as ignoring your child. Put your smart phone down and listen. Your child is more interesting anyway.
  7. Teach that failure isn’t a big deal. It’s not something to get upset about or to avoid at all costs. It’s just a part of life. There’s always the opportunity to try again.
  8. Give compliments and make them credible. Your child knows if his drawing of a horse actually looks like a pig. But you can find plenty of legitimate reasons to give your child compliments.
  9. Set goals with your child and attain them together. The goal might be for your child to tie her own shoes or to get an A in algebra. Teach your child to work toward their goal each day.
  10. Be confident. The more confident and comfortable you are in front of your child, the more secure they will feel. Your child is watching you for cues. If you’re obviously uncomfortable in certain situations, your child will be, too. Set a good example.
  11. Address behavior, instead of your child. Saying that it’s wrong to lie is a better option than calling your child a liar. Avoid putting negative labels on your child.
  12. Show love and affection regularly. Show your child that they are loved and appreciated every day.

It’s never too early to start boosting your child’s self-esteem. Providing a good foundation can prevent a lot of challenges in the teenage years. Act while your child is most impressionable. You can’t control every experience your child has, but you can control enough of them to make a huge difference.