Monday, April 25, 2022

How to speak to your child(ren) so that they can have a positive self-image

One of the goals of child therapy involves making children feel good about themselves to help them build the confidence they need to master life skills. Feeling good about themselves is all about developing a positive self-image, which also is referred to as self-esteem. Shattering a child’s self-image can lead to a lifetime of underachievement, as well as a failure to recognize achievable personal and professional opportunities. Poor self-esteem can develop into a lifetime of stress and negative emotions.

One of the fundamental strategies for building a child’s positive self-image is knowing how to speak to your child. Let’s discover how to speak to your child or children so they can have a positive self-image.

Praise is the Gold Standard for Children

When you think about learning how to speak to a child, you should reflect on how you like someone to speak to you. Whether at home at work, what type of communication motivates you to move forward with a task or grow deeper into a relationship?

The answer is we respond favorably to praise.

Children grow into adulthood hearing plenty of advice on how they can improve themselves. From classroom corrections to admonishments given at home, far too many children receive a steady dose of negative feedback. Praising a child builds a positive self-image because it helps a child learn new things. A child who receives praise is more likely to take chances taking the next big step on life’s often arduous journey

The key to dishing out praise is to find the balance between withholding it at the wrong times and giving it out when praise is not warranted. Most children can discern between valid praise and praise that is given when it should not be given.

Forbid Harsh Criticism

Most children that hear harsh criticism are less likely to respond favorably to the criticism even if it has merit. Phrases such as “You’re lazy” and “What’s wrong with you” deflate a child’s natural curiosity for discovering new ideas and breaking the barriers that hold them back from development. Patience should be the guiding principle when speaking with children, which means using an even tone when communicating with them, especially when you want to correct a child for doing something wrong.

Focus on a child’s strengths before you speak with them about just about anything.

Present a Consistent Message

Reinforcement represents a cornerstone that helps adults learn how to speak with children so they can have a positive self-image. You cannot expect to get through to a child by changing the message on a daily basis. Reinforcing the accomplishments of a child builds positive self-esteem, as does using reinforcement to highlight good behavior, instead of focusing on criticizing bad behavior.

Presenting a consistent message is particularly important for parents that raise more than one child.

The Bottom Line

You probably have heard the timeless adage, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” The adage is relevant for learning how to speak to children. How you speak to a child is just as important as what you say to a child. Use a measured tone to help a child build a positive self-image.

Finally, going through family therapy can help the members of an entire family learn how to build and maintain a child’s positive self-image.

Author: verified_user