Getting to Know Your Children as Individuals

Raising children is one of the most fulfilling experiences in life. As with most parents, you probably feel very close to your children, because after all, they’re a part of you. Parents tend to see their own children as extensions of themselves. Of course, this is true to a certain extent.

However, it’s also important to recognize that your children are also individuals. Regardless of their maturity levels, your children are “budding” adults, interesting and evocative in their own special ways. Even very young children have their own wants, preferences, and sense of self.

As children grow and thrive, they develop their own interests. For example, you might have a son who loves to finger-paint and a daughter who prefers drawing. One child takes particular pleasure in riding bikes while another would much rather sit and read a book.

To raise children with healthy self-esteem, it’s a good idea to allow children the emotional space to express themselves. If you encourage your children to be themselves, they’ll grow and bloom into fascinating, independent human beings.

Try these activities to get to know and appreciate your children as individuals:

1. Spend one-on-one time with them. Allow them to choose what activity to share or game to play. Observing your kids as you play together is a fun way to learn who your child really is.

2. Listen. Although you most likely do a fair amount of talking to your kids, the other side of it is to listen very carefully to what your children have to say. Children make concerted efforts to talk about what they like, and when they talk about what they like, they’re sharing what’s important to them.

* When you know what’s relevant to your kids, then you’re truly getting to know them.

* Establishing easy communication early will help make the teenage years go more smoothly.

3. Initiate conversations about their interests. Inquire what happened today on your child’s favorite television show. Again, listen intently to how your child conceptualizes what occurred.

* Take the time to engage with your kids each day, regardless of their age.

4. Invite your child to play “house” with you. Allow them to decide who will “be” the mom, dad, brother, sister, or other members of the family.

* Encourage them to set up the situation however they like. They might even act out something they’ve seen you do at home.

* Playing house with your children encourages them to express themselves, which helps you really get to know them while enhancing their self-esteem.

5. Give your child choices. When children are allowed to choose, their choices show something about them as people. You can learn about your children by noticing the choices they make.

* For younger children, set it up so they can choose from 2 activities: for example, take a walk to get ice cream or go play miniature golf.

One of the most enriching experiences you’ll ever have as a parent is getting to know your children as individuals. Try some of these strategies to draw out your child’s personality. As your children grow, you’ll learn more and more about who they are.

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Dealing with Toxic People: Seven Proven Strategies

We all have them in our lives. Whether they are a family member, an old friend, or the grocery store manager, toxic people seem to be showing up everywhere in our lives. And while we might yearn to get rid of them, chances are someone toxic to you will always be a part of your life. Instead of wishing the problem would go away, try one of these methods of dealing with it. Over time you’ll find that these toxic people can be handled quite effectively.

Keep a Professional Attitude

One of the ways that a toxic individual can become so damaging to your self-esteem or spiritual well being is by pulling you into an emotional, opinion-based argument. They thrive on this type of confrontation, and often will leave their victim, unintended or not, gasping for emotional air. The best way to avoid this situation is to take their weapons away from them. Keep your attitude when dealing with a toxic person strictly professional, focusing on the facts of the situation, and not opinions or conjectures. If the toxic person can’t seem to make any progress with resorting to emotional weapons, suggest that the subject be approached at a later time.

Seek Help From a 3rd Party

Sometimes no matter how professional you try to be, a toxic person will not work with you. During these times, it is often prudent to bring in a third party to help mitigate the situation at hand. Sometimes a third party can help the toxic person see things from your point of view, or even allow for a toxic person’s ideas to be presented in a more palatable format. Whichever the case, a third party can often mean a new perspective and a fresh idea when everything else has been exhausted.

Pay Attention to Your Body Language and Posture

Toxic people are adept at reading your body’s cues and reading your posture. They are looking for weak areas in your defenses, places where your armor is not quite as strong. Things such as crossing your arms, pounding your fists on the table, biting your lower lip, and even glowering can be prime indications that you are frustrated or mad – perfect opportunities for a toxic person to make their move. Instead, try and keep a relaxed pose, with your arms loosely at your sides and your breathing steady and normal. If they can’t see a way to agitate you, chances are they won’t even try. Plus, keeping a relaxed pose has been shown to aid in keeping your mental state relaxed and reduce stress.

Revenge is not worth it

Many a movie and book have been created through the idea of revenge. However, in practical terms, revenge is really not all that it is cracked up to be, especially when dealing with toxic people. In truth, it will often make you look even worse than the toxic person that instigated the desire for revenge. Instead, use those feelings for revenge and re-focus them into becoming a better person, professional, or partner. The world itself will eventually bring its own justice to the toxic person. Why put more effort into it when you clearly don’t need to? Trust me, the higher road is the better one to take.

Create an Exit Plan

If you know that you are going to encounter a toxic person, take the time to plan and exit strategy. This can be as simple as “remembering an appointment” to requesting more time to research some new information. The trick is to get out of the situation as quickly and as professionally as you can before it turns bad. Remember though, to keep your interaction, no matter how brief professional and above board.

Be Kind

Often the only way that a toxic person can truly affect you is if you let them. By answering their vitriolic remarks with words of kindness or a smile, you’ll find that the impact of their attacks won’t be as great. It is also a great way to keep your mind focused on the task at hand, and not worrying about how you’re going to best them during the next round. While it probably won’t change their outlook, it will certainly improve yours.

Avoid the Situation and the Person

Every so often, however, there are people and situations that cannot be fixed or alleviated, no matter how hard you try. If you find yourself in this situation, sometimes the best course of action is to walk away. Life is entirely too precious, and too short to waste it on people who bring you down to a level you don’t want to be at. However, if avoidance isn’t a viable option for you, perhaps one of these other methods will be effective.

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Talk to Your Child about Starting School

Children and schoolChildren often regret going back to school after a long and wonderful Summer break. Sometimes this can be really hard for them. It is important to talk about all of the things that are important about school and the positive things that the new school year will bring. Arrange and organize the child’s things for the next school year and keep school as part of the Summer as well.

Before school starts back – start mentioning the new start up. Let your child prepare and get ready for the next steps. Let them warm up to the idea that their schedule will again change drastically. Explain the importance of rest for school.

Acknowledge a child’s emotions about returning to school. It is important to validate what they share. If they say they don’t like school and really don’t want to go back – you can say that you understand that they don’t like school and feel they don’t want to go back. Ask why – what is bothering them – what is on their mind. Get them to talk about their fears and concerns. Then you can help them overcome them.

They may be scared of distance from a parent, or a new and unknown place. Explain how proud you are of them and make a big deal of their effort to try to adapt.
Help them learn how to stay in control if they are worried about teasing. If another child has teased them – teach them to remain calm and seek help if they feel they need it. Children can be mean at times – explain that the other children are learning about behavior as well.

Listen to what your child is saying – pay attention – give eye contact – repeat back what they have said. Be interested and concerned. Be positive and comfortable talking about everything. Keep the lined of communication flowing!

Moving from school to school can also cause stress for a child. Learning the ropes and gaining new friends all over again can be so stressful. Find activities that they are good at to make sure they bolster their self esteem.

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Self–Esteem: Adults and Children

Self-esteem in adults and childrenParents have a huge effect on their children’s self esteem. Studies have revealed that there is a huge correlation between self esteem between adults and children. Your outlook hugely effects your child’s perspective in life. For example: a parent being unsocial makes the child unsocial, etc. This relationship can affect many areas of a child’s life and future.

Be conscious about things that may manifest in your child’s life. Role playing is the key in the growing years of children – you must role play the example for them. They see themselves in it. Self esteem is important because it makes a child proud of who they are and comfortable with who they are.

Children must gain acceptance with friends and not be reclusive in nature. This is responsible for allowing respect for an individual. This need occurs in the beginning of growth – it is always present. The need for self esteem is huge. The ups and downs of life are trained and harnessed by self esteem and attitude; also it is the same with inner battles.

As children get older they must take on the responsibility of developing there own self esteem. This happens by watching others. They especially watch parents. Humor is the BEST manifestation of self-esteem. It speaks of confidence and self acceptance. This also gauges how a person carries themselves in public.
Self esteem helps children want more. They will crave more attention but also want to satisfy their needs to feel good about themselves. It makes kids see things in a whole new light – a positive light. It makes them want to do more and to achieve great things.

Parents should always try to make a point to display a great showcase of self esteem and confidence. Don’t forget to spice it up with lots of positivity and humor. You will not be sorry you did. It is for your child’s future after all. You cannot let go enough in this area – really make a point of speaking of yourselves and others in a positive and confident way to set the example.

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