I was enjoying a sunny day walking around the park and stopped to watch the ducks.
Sitting on the bench with my eyes closed savouring the peace and quiet thinking what to cook from dinner, when I was interrupted by two small boys with their moms in tow.
Listening to the parenting styles of the two moms who were clearly good friends, it was surprising to me that they had such differing opinions on the level of responsibility each allowed their own toddler.
One boy was allowed to stand near to the edge of the lake and throw bread for the ducks.
His mom explained carefully where to stand, how to stay safe and encouraged him to enjoy himself. Whilst staying close and watching over him.
Whereas her friend was very worried and negative, telling her son not to do this or that and wouldn’t allow him near the water.
He became so panicked that he kept saying that he didn’t like ducks and could he go home?
After a while I got to reflecting again, how much a toddler’s self-esteem is based on how they think that the important people in their lives judge them.
Parents and carers, more than anyone else can help to positively promote a child’s confidence and self-esteem.
I feel that these main points are crucial to encourage healthy self-esteem in our toddlers…
Encourage a feeling of belonging – to family, friendship groups, classes at pre-school, etc.
Always try to be a positive role-model.
Promote a ‘can-do’ attitude, even small achievements can bolster confidence.
Always identify and praise your toddler’s strengths.
Finally, find productive ways to encourage your toddler’s talents and abilities – we ALL have them!
Remember… children with good self-esteem are more resilient, able to cope with challenging times more easily and perform with confidence because they expect positive outcomes.
“I just want my kids to love who they are; have happy lives and find something they want to do and make peace with that. Your job as a parent is to give your kids not only the instincts and talents to survive, but to help them to enjoy their lives.” Susan Sarandon.