Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Roadblocks to Self-respect

Most feelings of inadequacy can be traced to unfortunate childhood experiences. Parents are frequently unaware of the effect of their words and actions, yet it all either builds or destroys self-worth.
A critical parent arouses in his child feelings of rejection. Yelling, screaming and constant criticism tell a child that you do not love him or care about his feelings.
Parents with low self-esteem particularly have a compulsive need to find fault with everything a child does. Soon the child feels that it is impossible to please this parent or to measure up to expectations. If the child receives additional censure and condemnation at school from teachers and peers, the blow is even more devastating. Take note that feelings of unacceptance do not always have to be verbalized to be experienced. A lack of appreciation or recognition speaks as loudly to a child as if it were verbally announced. Whether spoken or unspoken, criticism is by far the most common and destructive cause of low self-esteem.
An adults domineering or bossy attitude implies to the child that he isn’t capable of completing an assigned task unless his parent is there to supervise. A parent spends musch time in telling a child what to do, when and how to do it. Authoritarian parents waken the sel-worth of a child. A child who is constantly told what to do develops few inner controls and lacks faith in his own abilities to carry out tasks by himself. A child needs training and guidance, but not in an overbearing manner.
Over protectiveness or excessive sheltering can also make a child feel rejected because he never has an opportunity to make decisions for himself. During the very early years of a child’s life you can control his environment but from the age of 3 or up when he began interacting with others, neighbors, friends, schoolmates, it may tear your insides out to have your child laughed at, called names or even ignored. Your first reaction may be to hold him close- shielding, defending or smothering him. But such approach would only inhibit your child’s progress. His emotional growth will be strengthened by learning to cope with small problems. A mother who fights all the neighborhood battles in order to protect his child from the cruel world inhibits his progress towards a positive self-image. Parents are advised to spend more time with a child, yet it is not quantity but quality time that is important.
A parent will show rejection through lack of interest. Furthermore, our attitudes of acceptance or rejection vary along with our moods. Some parents are more accepting and loving than others by virtue of their emotional make-up. Our accepting and rejecting attitudes also depend on where we are who is watching. Most of us tend to be less accepting at a friends’ home in a restaurant or at church. And when friends visit our homes, we may get upset over manners that we would accept at other times. Many of us fall innocently into some of these traps. We love our child but in a day to day struggle we tend to lost it.
The key therefore is the ability to accept the child at all times, while perhaps not accepting everything he does. Just as God hates sin but loves the sinner. So as parents you should differentiate between the child’s behavior and the child himself, if you want to build a positive self-image.


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