HOW CAN A LACK OF CRITICISM INTERFERE WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF SELF-ESTEEM?

EmotionsWhen children do not master a new skill, because their parents or teachers are reluctant to point out ways that can help them perfect it, they do not develop the self-respect that results from mastery. In addition, children are likely to interpret a lack of criticism as a lack of confidence in their abilities. They may believe: “If she thought I was capable of learning this, she would help me to learn how to do it better.” The subtle message they receive is that they “can’t.”

Building Children’s Self-Esteem (Child Psychology) (Kindle Locations 135-139). William Gladden Press. Kindle Edition.
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Your Number One Responsibility as a Parent

“Mindfulness: Allowing an emotion to take hold and pass without acting on it.
—Benedict Carey1”

Your child is fairly certain to act like a child, which means someone who is still learning, has different priorities than you do, and can’t always manage her feelings or actions. Her childish behavior is guaranteed, at times, to push your buttons. The problem is when we begin acting like a child, too. Someone has to act like a grown-up, if we want our child to learn how! If, instead, we can stay mindful—meaning we notice our emotions and let them pass without acting on them—we model emotional regulation, and our children learn from watching us.
There’s a reason the airlines tell us to put on our own oxygen masks first. Kids can’t reach those masks or be relied on to use them properly. If we lose function, our kids can’t save us, or themselves. So even if we would sacrifice ourselves to save our kids, it’s our responsibility to “put on our own masks first.

Kids can’t manage their own rage by themselves, either. They can’t find their way through the tangle of jealousy that pushes them to whack their little sister. They need our help to handle the fear that we don’t love them because they somehow just aren’t quite good enough. They know that if they were good enough, they wouldn’t want to hit their sister, or sneak that piece of candy, or throw themselves down on the floor and scream. But they can’t help themselves, however hard they try not to. (Sort of like when we eat that extra piece of cake.)
So just as with the oxygen mask, it’s your job to help your child with his emotions, which is what helps him with his behavior. Unfortunately, when you’re stressed out, exhausted, and running on empty, you can’t be there constructively for your child any more than if you black out on the plane.”

“That’s why your first responsibility in parenting is being mindful of your own inner state. Mindfulness is the opposite of “losing” your temper. Don’t get me wrong—mindfulness doesn’t mean you don’t feel anger. Being mindful means that you pay attention to what you’re feeling, but don’t act on it. Anger is part of all relationships. Acting on it mindlessly, with words or actions, is what compromises our parenting.
Emotions are useful, like indicator lights on a dashboard. If you saw a blinking red light in your car, you wouldn’t cover it up or tear out the wiring that caused it, right? You would listen to the information and act on it, for instance, by taking your car in for an oil change. The challenge with human emotions is that so often we’re confused about what to do when we feel them. We’re hardwired to respond to all “negative” emotion (those blinking red lights in your psyche that light up throughout your day) in one of “three ways: fight, flight, or freeze.
Those strategies work well in most emergencies. But parenting—despite our fears—is not usually an emergency. Usually, in parenting and in life, the best response to upsetting emotions is to reflect, not react. In other words, don’t take action while you’re triggered.
You can count on finding yourself hijacked by fight-or-flight hormones at times, but if you can train yourself to notice when you start to lose it, you have the choice to return yourself back to a state of equilibrium. That peaceful place inside ensures that our actions are wise and loving.
But what happens when we just can’t get there? When something our child is doing is driving us crazy, and all our efforts to calm down aren’t working?”

Excerpt From: Dr. Laura Markham. “Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids.”

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Let Your Teen Lead

Anything they can do, they should do If you want teens to learn leadership, you must let them lead. That sounds rather obvious, doesn’t it? Yet it’s astonishing how many adults try to teach leadership by taking on the leadership role themselves and hoping that the teens will follow their example.

Developing Teen Leadership: A Practical Guide for Youth Group Advisors, Teachers and Parents by Dan Appleman

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Youth Leadership

Imagine a group of teenagers. They are self-confident, ambitious, responsible, able and eager to set goals and accomplish them. They treat each other well, supporting each other in times of need, and even when it isn’t particularly needed. They have good moral values, and academic success is prized. And while they welcome and even seek out advice from trusted adults, they actually manage their group with virtually no supervision.
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Poor Parenting

Poor parenting’ is used to describe people who are not parenting in a way that will help their teen become a happy successful adult. They aren’t keeping the goal in mind. Their reasons vary. They are too busy with other responsibilities to take the time they need to learn about being an active effective parent, they find parenting too much of a chore and aren’t up to the task or in the worst case scenario, they are parents who simply don’t care enough to parent well. While we like to think that all parents give at least a good faith effort towards their children and teens, unfortunately, it is not the case.

We also like to think that those we know don’t employ poor parenting habits. Or we don’t have any of these poor habits ourselves. But, being human, we all make mistakes and will find ourselves doing some of these bad behaviors. But when our mistakes get in the way of our parenting goal, that’s when our own bad parenting habits can really hurt a teenager. The good news is if you see yourself doing these things, you can change your behavior. The even better news is that when you do, your teen will too. That’s learning a new parenting skill which is good parenting! Here are the top bad parenting mistakes and advice on how to fix them.

Yelling is a big no-no. While it is understandable that we will lose our temper and raise our voices, parents who yell all of the time and use their screaming as their ‘go-to’ discipline technique are using a bad parenting skill. Discipline, while it still needs to be clear and effective, changes when our children grow into teens.

It is bad parenting not being involved in your teen’s life. This means more than knowing where your teen is hanging out and who they are hanging out with, its knowing what your teen likes to do when they are hanging out. When a parent knows that their teen likes to play basketball and he goes to the school gym to play in a night league, that parent is able to stay involved with their teen simply by asking how their basketball game went. They can have a conversation, which builds the teen’s confidence and strengthens their relationship. The parent can then help their teen find other opportunities to play basketball and so see a game. Knowing your teen creates win-win situations that helps parents guide teens towards a fulfilling life.

Trying to be your teen’s friend is bad parenting. Teens have peers that make good friends; they don’t need us to fulfill that part of their lives. They need us to take the responsibility of parenting them. That means we should be friendly, kind, loving, fair and firm. There is so much more to the relationship of a parent that being a friend is really a downgrade, one that you should avoid.

‘Bad parenting’ is used to describe people who are not parenting in a way that will help their teen become a happy successful adult. They aren’t keeping the goal in mind. Their reasons vary. They are too busy with other responsibilities to take the time they need to learn about being an active effective parent, they find parenting too much of a chore and aren’t up to the task or in the worst case scenario, they are parents who simply don’t care enough to parent well. While we like to think that all parents give at least a good faith effort towards their children and teens, unfortunately, it is not the case.

We also like to think that those we know don’t employ bad parenting habits. Or we don’t have any of these poor habits ourselves. But, being human, we all make mistakes and will find ourselves doing some of these bad behaviors. But when our mistakes get in the way of our parenting goal, that’s when our own bad parenting habits can really hurt a teenager. The good news is if you see yourself doing these things, you can change your behavior. The even better news is that when you do, your teen will too. That’s learning a new parenting skill which is good parenting! Here are the top bad parenting mistakes and advice on how to fix them.

Yelling is a big no-no. While it is understandable that we will lose our temper and raise our voices, parents who yell all of the time and use their screaming as their ‘go-to’ discipline technique are using a bad parenting skill. Discipline, while it still needs to be clear and effective, changes when our children grow into teens.

It is bad parenting not being involved in your teen’s life. This means more than knowing where your teen is hanging out and who they are hanging out with, its knowing what your teen likes to do when they are hanging out. When a parent knows that their teen likes to play basketball and he goes to the school gym to play in a night league, that parent is able to stay involved with their teen simply by asking how their basketball game went. They can have a conversation, which builds the teen’s confidence and strengthens their relationship. The parent can then help their teen find other opportunities to play basketball and so see a game. Knowing your teen creates win-win situations that helps parents guide teens towards a fulfilling life.

Trying to be your teen’s friend is bad parenting. Teens have peers that make good friends; they don’t need us to fulfill that part of their lives. They need us to take the responsibility of parenting them. That means we should be friendly, kind, loving, fair and firm. There is so much more to the relationship of a parent that being a friend is really a downgrade, one that you should avoid.

Forgetting what it’s like to be a teenager. We have stress in our lives, there is work, taking care of our home, day to day chores that are all our responsibility. As parents we need to not get so caught up in what is our world that we forget our teens have things to worry about also. While waiting for a text from our BFF may not seem all that important to us when we need our teen’s help with getting dinner on the table, it is important to them. While you may want your teen to be asleep by a certain time, it is not their fault that their game went into overtime and their teachers assigned too much homework for the night. Teens have responsibilities to others, stress and things they need to take care of as well. While this doesn’t give them a pass, it is important for parents to remember when they are guiding them through the maze of adolescence.

Not allowing your teen to make their own choices. Parents will need to step back and allow teens to make mistakes that they wouldn’t make if we took control of the situation, but they wouldn’t learn how to handle their mistakes if we do. Backing off and monitoring, as opposed to fixing, our teen’s problems while they’re 12 to 17-years-old will be much easier to do than trying to put in your 2 cents when they are 19-years-old.

Enabling your teen to continue with dangerous or destructive habits is bad parenting. Teens make mistakes and get themselves in over their head with drugs and alcohol, sexual behaviors, poor school grades and more. These risk behaviors can become real problems in your teen’s life and be hurdles in the way of their success. While it’s important for a parent of a teenager to allow privacy, we also have to be monitoring what our teens are into so we can help guide them away from risk taking behaviors. Your teen needs to have limits in your home. When you allow your teen to do anything they want, they will begin to take control and you are no longer the parent. This means they no longer have their greatest chance of succeeding.