3 Ways to Build Your Child’s Self-Concept.
Susie E. Caron c 8/25/2014
How do children develop a healthy self-concept and healthy self-esteem?
What can parents an caregivers do to help?
Young children develop a sense of who they are and who they may become, through the messages they receive from their care givers. However, verbal messages children hear are actually only a very small part of that. Three kinds of non-verbal messages kids receive deal a much greater impact.
There are three main levels of language that greatly impact your child’s growing self-concept, and impact later development of self-esteem. These are your eye contact, tone of voice and body language.
1. Your eyes are the window to your feelings. What does your child see in your eyes? Do your eyes say things like "I love you," "I enjoy you," "You are a wonderful, and mischievous child"? Or, do your eyes convey, "I'm disappointed in you." "You are bad." "I can't stand you."
2. Your tone of voice reveals your attitude(s) toward your child.(For a quick example of this think of the many different ways you can say “Sweet Heart”.)
Your tone of voice conveys you general attitude, as well as your attitude toward your child, at any given moment. How is your tone? Is it respectful? Does it say, "I think you are a person worthy of respect?" Or, does your tone sound like "You are a foolish and difficult child.”
3. Your body posture is how your child reads your intention and sincerity. Do you turn your body toward your child when you are speaking, or do you turn away, or to the side? If you love your child, you will turn you whole body toward rather than away from your child. Even if you are providing correction, you will want to face your child from the top of your head to your toes. Otherwise, your child reads that he/she isn't worthy of your full attention and what you are saying really isn’t that important.
There's a Bonus for your efforts! Kids benefit and so do parents and caregivers.
These three levels of subtle language actually deliver quite a lot of information, which your child internalizes. When you bring your eye contact, tone of voice, and body language, all into alignment with your actual words, you help your child to develop a solid self-concept. Later, in your child's teenage years, your child’s early self-concept directly impacts his or her ability to develop a personal self-esteem. As an added bonus, your efforts to synchronize all three levels of language with your words, will also help you to feel more authentic and self-confident.
What do you think about this information? Does it make sense to you?
What will you do today to work on the messages you give your child? Please share.
Twee’ Means You and Me!
Susie E. Caron
Susie E. Caron MA,
Author, Blogger, Podcaster,
Christian, Wife, & Mother, helps build parent-child relationships, 1 blog, book & podcast at a time.
Welcome! I recently retired from combined careers in teaching, psychotherapy, and parent coaching to spend more time writing.
When I'm not busy creating books or articles, you might find me looking for dark chocolate or riding my beautiful horse Apple in the woods and fields of Vermont.
These articles are for educational and self-help purposes only and are not intended as psychotherapy.
If you experience unusual symptoms or discomfort please see your medical or mental health practitioner.
No patent liability is assumed for use of the information contained. The author disclaims any responsibility for loss or risk for use or application of this material.
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Blog Reviews & Thank You!
July 13 at 7:17pm ·
Just wanted to say that I love your posts about the different ways to connect/relate/understand your child. It has given me a new approach towards understanding my daughter and allowing HER to tell me how she feels instead of me suggesting to her how she should feel. Thanks Susie!