Taken from the Naked Leader Blog #467
The Seven Secrets of Happy Children – If you want a child that you care for, to grow up with higher self-esteem than the vast majority of the adult population, then do these:
1 Say “Yes” to your child as often as you say “No.” Your child needs to know where he or she stands, not just where they fall. Note – Do this and this alone and your child will grow up with higher self-esteem.
2 Tell them that you love them each and every day, especially last thing before they go to sleep.
3 When you praise them, be specific about what the praise of for.
4 Encourage them how to think, not what to think – be careful about giving your opinions as if they are facts. And listen to what they say – really listen.
5 Play/be with them when they want you to – five minutes after doesn’t work.
6 Your child is very very clever and aware from the moment they are born – remember this at all times – never look down at them (indeed, when you speak to them, kneel to their level).
7 Show a genuine interest in an interest of theirs – be it a TV programme, book or hobby – don’t judge their choice of music like your parents may have judged yours.
And an 8th…
If your son or daughter says they want to be an astronaut when they grow up, how would you reply?
Oh! What a big moment of choice for you – do you tell “the truth” and explain how difficult that would be – education, dedication, hard work?
Or do you say, “And you will be a very good astronaut”.
I suggest the latter.
Indeed, whatever your child/niece/nephew/young friend says in terms of what they are going to be, say the same “And you will be a very good xxx”.
Because it will give them more choices in life (and higher self-esteem), because tomorrow they will want to be something different anyway and because what right do you have to impose your limited beliefs on their ambition / future?
With my love and best wishes
PS Our daughter Olivia graduated from Southampton University last week - with a first!