Do you remember growing up? Do you remember how hard it was trying to find the balance between individuality and popularity? Well, if you don’t, I sure as hell do. I was always different, but it wasn’t until I was an adult when I realized that being different wasn’t a bad thing. Times were different then though. Kids were still cruel, but their reach was so much more limited back then. They had to be around you to ridicule you. So if they damaged your self-esteem at school, you could go home, gather yourself, and try it again the next day.
Most children(even us when we were kids) didn’t know what self-esteem was or how it affected them. We just thought that we were in a bad mood, or the stuff we did that was out of our character were simply behavioral issues. Not knowing that these were issues of self- esteem, there was no way we could tell our parents what was really wrong so that they could effectively help us. All this did was add to the internal chaos because we were sometimes punished for acts directly related to what we thought of ourselves. Now we were lost, and so were our parents. Our parents needed the type of help that we were not able to give them.
Fast-forward to today’s social climate and the multitude of ways our children’s self -esteem can be damaged. Positive affirmations at home can combat the cruelty they’ll face when they are away from us, but it is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Nowadays, with social media being the juggernaut that it is, there are a million and one ways of reminding our children why they shouldn’t embrace who they are and love themselves. Our jobs have become so much harder! Issues such as cyber-bullying are real, and we have already lost too many of our youth to suicides that stem from a lack of self-esteem. Being a father, I am always willing to learn new ways to consistently help boost the self-esteem of my kids, even when a lack of self-esteem is not the definitive issue.
Let’s not be the generation of parents who ignore the signs and now our kids are suffering because of it. We have to teach our kids to love who they are, regardless of anything. Pride has killed more people than cancer. Don’t be so proud that you won’t seek help for your child when you are unsure of what to do or where to go. Our kids need us now more than they ever have! Equip yourself with the tools necessary to promote self-love, so our kids can live the best lives they possibly can!