Children with healthy self respect have more confidence.
In school you might have called them “teacher’s pet” or “goody-goodies” out of jealousy, since they were well liked by both adults and other kids, but children who have a healthy self-respect appear well-adjusted. Start teaching your preschooler self respect early, since this will help him have the confidence and spirit he needs to tackle the challenges ahead. As a bonus, teaching your child self respect will also help you raise a child you and others enjoy hanging around.
1According to Values Parenting.com, “Respect is not consistently given unless it is received.” The best way to teach your child self-respect is to show her respect every day. Respecting your child means speaking to her in a respectful voice even when disapproving of her actions. Children know they mess up, like when they go behind your back to get gum out of your purse or take the markers to their room to decorate their night stand. Always show your child respect, even while disciplining her. Your child will realize you care enough for her to make her do what is right, and she will learn to respect herself, too, through your example.
2Find opportunities to sit with your preschooler and list the ways he can respect himself and others. One way he can show himself self respect is by not giving up and thinking he can’t do something, like kicking the soccer ball into the net. Teach him that respecting himself means doing his best and not feeling badly about himself for trying. Show him that you do not expect him to be perfect and that when he messes up, like when he yells at his little brother, he should say, “I'm sorry,” and move on. Add to the list good habits of taking care of his body, like brushing his teeth and hair, to learn to respect his body
3Dr. Sears found that preschoolers especially use their parent’s reactions to what they do to learn about themselves. Children who see a positive image in their parent’s reactions learn to think positively about themselves, which turns into self-respect. By giving them positive cues like enjoying listening, sharing and playing around with them, they start to think they are a fun person to hang out with. Don’t give into temptation and give false praise, because children are smart enough to know when you fake it. Even for children who have difficulty obeying and sharing, find something they do to applaud, and watch their self respect rise.
4Place a high value on your preschooler’s interests to promote a healthy self respect. Support her interests by spending time with her learning about them so she knows she holds value herself. Keep your promises to her so she knows you value her trust. Also add value to your child’s life daily by hugging and kissing her. Show her that she means everything to you and that she has worth. By building her self respect, she will confidently explore her own way through life.