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RESPONSIVENESS:

Show your child that he/she is important by taking the time to listen to his questions, complaints, or comments.

IMPROVE YOUR CHILD’S SELF ESTEEM:

A child’s self-esteem is acquired, not inherited. Certain parenting traits and certain character traits, such as anger and fearfulness, are learned in each generation. No one can put on a happy face all the time, but a parent’s unhappiness can transfer to a child. Your child looks to you as a mirror for his own feelings.

BE A POSITIVE MIRROR:

Much of a child’s self-image comes not only from what the child perceives about herself, but from how she thinks others perceive her.

PLAY WITH YOUR CHILD:

You will learn a lot about your child—and yourself—during play. Playtime gives your child the message “You are worth my time. You are a valuable person.”

ADDRESS YOUR CHILD BY NAME:

What’s in a name? The person, the self—little or big. Addressing your child by name, especially when accompanied by eye contact and touch, exudes a “you’re special” message. Beginning an interaction by using the other person’s name opens doors, breaks barriers, and even softens corrective discipline.

PRACTICE THE CARRY-OVER PRINCIPLE:

As your child gets older, encourage her talents. She can do well at something, whether as a two-year-old who packs exceptional pretend picnics or a ten-year- old who loves ballet. Over the years, we’ve noticed a phenomenon we call the carryover principle: enjoying one activity boosts a child’s self-image, and this carries over into other endeavors.

SET YOUR CHILD UP TO SUCCEED:

Helping your child develop talents and acquire skills is part of discipline. If you recognize an ability in your child that he doesn’t, encourage him. Strike a balance between pushing and protecting. Both are necessary. If you don’t encourage your child to try, his skills don’t improve, and you’ve lost a valuable confidence builder. If you don’t protect your child from unrealistic expectations, his sense of competence is threatened.