Self-worth is about having to value yourself or your worth as a person. There are times when people think that self-worth and self-esteem are the same. But there is a slight difference in the definition of each of these terms and you cannot use these two terms interchangeably. Instead, you can refer to self-esteem and self-worth as something that can complement each other.
So what’s the difference? Self-worth is about the belief you had in yourself that you are loved and valued, regardless of how you evaluate your traits. Self-esteem, on the other hand, is about how you think, feel, and believe about yourself. Simply put, self-worth should have less to do with measuring yourself in external actions and more to do with valuing your inherent worth as a person. There are many ways in which you can value yourself and your worth as a human being, in the same way that you can also believe in your abilities and the motivation to carry them out.
In this article, we focus on the value of true self-worth and how you can help develop this type of self-worth in your children in 4 simple ways. If you find that your child is having a difficult time accepting himself or herself, or if you want to generate more positive feelings or value in your child, the following suggestions will prepare you for positive results:
- You must express verbal acceptance of your child on a daily basis. Of course, it doesn’t mean that you will be praising your child for his or her every little word or act. That can get annoying for him or her at some point. But learn to always speak positively about him or her, especially when he or she is in front of you.
To reinforce your child’s positive behavior, you can try commenting out loud, like saying, for example, “Thank you for remembering to put your toys in their proper place after playing, without being reminded. I like that.” You can then follow this with a touch on the shoulder or a hug and you have shown acceptance of your child in terms that he or she can understand. Don’t fall into the trap of giving empty compliments, but you can try to find daily opportunities where you can express genuine verbal praise for your child’s accomplishments or behavior.
- Avoid comparing your child with others. It is not good to compare your child to his brothers, sisters, relatives, friends at school, neighborhood kids, Mom, or you when you were his age. But you have to make him or her feel that you like him or her just the way he or she is. Be sure to mention those areas in which you think he or she was able to fulfill all your hopes and dreams. Keep in mind that one of the greatest needs of a child is to hear you say those meaningful words of acceptance of him or her as a person, and not just in the things he or she does.
- Own up to your mistakes. While it’s hard to admit mistakes sometimes, it’s still the first step toward growth. If you have noticed that your child shows symptoms of little respect for himself or herself and if you feel you’re responsible, even in part, the first thing to do is admit it. Most likely, when there is a continuous denial of knowledge or responsibility for the problem, progress in your relationship with your child or in instilling self-worth will remain stagnant.
- Show it. The real place to start where you can help your child feel good about himself or herself is with you. You should be a role model for your child, because he or she can quickly feel any lack of worth that you may demonstrate.
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