Woodbury, Long Island, New York (516) 340-0378
How to improve your child’s self-esteem

How to improve your child’s self-esteem

Does your child lack self-esteem?

Your child’s biggest problem:
They defeat themselves in their own mind. That’s it.

By doing this, they are slowly over time killing their self-esteem which negatively affects their self-image which impacts EVERY aspect of their life.

When children lack self-esteem (aka self-love) they experience:

  • shyness
  • sadness
  • stress
  • anxiety
  • panic attacks
  • mood swings
  • anger outbursts
  • feelings of unworthiness
  • depression

Does this sound like your child?

All of the above IS fixable when you address the root issue: your child’s self-esteem.

Why your child lacks self-esteem?
(there can be many reasons, below is a common example with the many kids I work with)

Scenario: 1

Growing up, children are NOT taught to LOVE themselves or LOVE life. Instead at an early age, your child’s “intelligence” was measured by performance in every subject in school. Therefore, if your child did not excel academically, your child at age 6 (or whatever age) automatically was deemed “NOT smart”.

Scenario: 2

Conversely, if your child was lucky enough to excel in EVERY subject, then your child learned validation by manufactured benchmarks, such as grades. This created the pressure to perform in order to continue their validation of worthiness, all of which is exhausting, stressful and causes that dreadful “perfectionism” bug.

So regardless of whether your child fell into either scenario 1 or 2, that experience has shaped their self-image.

Now, should it have? No, of course not. Instead, we must teach our children that their worthiness comes from the inside and has NOTHING to do with outside accolades or other’s opinions of them. And that includes grades and everything else.

But unfortunately, the current reality lends to create a platform for your child at an early age to become very self-critical.

For example, self-critical thoughts based on the above scenarios include:

(Scenario 1) Does not excel academically:

  • I am not good enough.
  • I am not smart enough.
  • What’s wrong with me.
  • I have to study more.
  • I don’t study enough.
  • I am stupid.
  • I don’t fit in.
  • My parents are disappointed in me.
  • My grades aren’t good, so I am not a good student or person.
  • My teachers don’t like me.
  • My parents will take away my phone or privileges.
  • I’ll never get into college.
  • I’ll never amount to anything.
  • My friends are better than me because they are smarter.

Scenario 2: Does excel academically:

  • In order to be good, I MUST do well.
  • If I am smart and get a bad grade, maybe I am not smart.
  • If get a bad grade, I am disappointed in myself.
  • I must study, study, study in order to do well.
  • I must be the best to prove my worthiness.
  • I must be the best in order for my parents to be happy.
  • I receive positive attention from my parents only when I do well, so in order to feel loved, I must continue to do well.
  • I’m only as good as my last grade, which stresses me out about my next test.
  • What happens next year, if the work is harder and I’m not the best.
  • I MUST take A/P classes even though they stress me out.
  • If I fail at anything, I’m a failure.
  • I MUST do well in order to get into an IVY league school, so my parents are proud.

And the list goes on…

And I know, because I’ve worked with them. They put undue pressure on themselves to perform, fit in AND make you, the parent, happy. Let’s face it.  There is no wonder why kids’ anxiety and depression are at an all-time high. And just remember, the above scenario is pertaining to schoolwork and grades! There’s also the social aspect with making friends, succeeding in sports, the pressures of social media…and much more!

So, what’s the solution?

It’s simple. Kids must learn how to love themselves AND how to start loving life. Regardless of EVERYTHING ELSE. They must know that the only opinion of them that matters, is their own. And when they improve their opinion of themselves (their self-image), by focusing on their positive, unique qualities, they WILL feel better.

And WHEN they feel better, they will:

  • Stop equating their worthiness to their grades
  • Be nicer to themselves in their own mind (Stop focusing on the negatives and start focusing on the positives)
  • Be proud of their successes AND their failures (knowing that their success is in the ability to try new things)
  • Embrace their brilliance (not by grades, but by how they feel)
  • Love themselves so much (that they no longer compare themselves to others OR care what other people think of them)
  • Be more comfortable being around others (as they are more comfortable being themselves!)
  • Believe in themselves (no longer needing validation from anybody)

Because when your child starts loving life, life will love them back….

 Imagine that?

 

Connie Henriquez is a Teen Life Coach who has a private coaching practice located in Woodbury, NY where she teaches kids & teens how to overcome anxiety, self-doubt and improve their self-esteem in as little as 30 days utilizing her signature Start Loving Life® “positive psychology” coaching system. For more information on how your child can start loving life® call today at (516) 340-0378.

Are VIDEO GAMES BAD for KIDS?

Are VIDEO GAMES BAD for KIDS?

Many parents call me with the concern that their child is spending way too much time playing video games, whether it be Call of Duty, Minecraft, Fortnite or whatever the rage is at the moment.

And yes, if you find your child’s excessive playing is affecting responsibilities, social life and/or school work, then I definitely do recommend creating some kind of time limits to ensure your child is engaging in the world.

But, I would never suggest video games are all bad. In fact, I find that video games can help your child tremendously, especially if your child is experiencing stress, anxiety or is going through a difficult time. And yes, most parents are shocked when I say this, but let me offer you a perspective from someone who teaches kids how to love life and be happy.

As a parent, you may have a hard time relating to video games since your generation grew up very differently. For you, it was common to play outside, play with friends or just play with rocks (joke!). It took little to entertain you as a kid and as a result you felt you were more engaged in the world. And you are correct, you probably were. But that’s NOT the same world your kids are living in today. And that’s a very good thing.

Today’s world is about technology and progression. Today’s children are living proof of these advancements, as they know how to navigate an IPHONE or IPAD before even learning to walk or talk. It’s as if the kids of this new generation were born ready and willing to embrace all of what technology has to offer. This is very different compared to our generation of the Rubik’s cube, Lite Brite and if you were more advanced, Atari (another joke!).

And this is in addition to all the social media stuff (Instagram, Snapchat) as well as the constant noise in your child’s mind from social pressures, self-criticism, perfectionism, anxiety and the list goes on.

But children, who innately know the power of their minds and the need to “turn it off,” will often look to video games as an outlet. And that is not a bad thing.

Video games can allow children to shut their minds off from the daily stresses of life or negative thinking that can contribute to stress and anxiety.  Just as there are many other creative outlets, including reading, coloring, listening to music, playing an instrument, baking and even meditation, video games can be a helpful distraction if that is what your child prefers.

Each child is unique and will gravitate to the creative outlet that works best for him or her. If part of that outlet for your child includes moderate video gaming, then “let the games begin!”

Connie Henriquez is a Teen Life Coach who has a private coaching practice located in Woodbury, New York where she teaches kids & teens how to overcome anxiety, self-doubt and improve their self-esteem in as little as 30 days utilizing her signature Start Loving Life® “positive psychology” coaching system. For more information on how your child can start loving life®…call (516) 340-0378

 

Everything you need to know about having a smart kid.

Everything you need to know about having a smart kid.

Your kid is smart.

Even if others say differently.

Smart is defined in so many ways.

Your kid doesn’t have to be a genius to be smart.

Your kid doesn’t have to get straight A’s to be smart.

YOU make your kid smart…

…by recognizing ALL the amazing abilities they do have.

Don’t limit them by holding them to a standard of what other people say is smart.

Love your kids for who they are.

Love your kids for who they are becoming.

And most of all teach your kids that smart is not the ability to know, smart is the ability to love.

Teach them to love themselves.

And the smartness that is really them will be the smartest thing they will ever need to know.

Be a smart parent.

Teach smart by teaching them how to Start Loving Life®…at an early age.

XOXO

~Connie