Local psychologist Chris Wylie on building your child’s self-esteem by taking control of your emotions
Local psychologist Chris Wylie on building your child’s self-esteem by taking control of your emotions.
Parents who are emotionally healthy are in control of their emotions and their behavior. They’re able to handle life’s challenges, build strong relationships, and recover from setbacks. But just as it requires effort to build or maintain physical health, so it does with mental and emotional health.
Improving your emotional health can be a rewarding experience, benefiting all aspects of your life. You boost your mood, build resilience, and add to your overall enjoyment of life. The first person that a parent must attend to is himself or herself.
Mental health is something we should take steps to protect in the same way we guard our physical health. Good mental health allows us to get the most out of spending time with family and friends, and it helps us through difficult times.
Don’t be afraid to accept yourself for what you are. Nobody’s perfect—we all have our good points and bad points. Many different things—personality, background, race, gender, religion, sexuality —make us who we are. Everyone has something to offer, and everyone is entitled to respect.
Sometimes your daily actions speak more volume than anything you could ever say. By loving the people you come in contact with and loving who you are, you teach your children how to love themselves.
Here are practical tips to help increase your self-acceptance and improve your child’s self-esteem all at the same time:
1. Never speak negatively about yourself or others. Your communication style is recorded every waking moment by your children. Do your best to acknowledge positive aspects of your life, and try not to focus on the negative.
2. Avoid comparing yourself to others, good or bad. Be self-satisfied. What this teaches your children is that they’re good enough and that they can succeed without having to always win at something or meet someone else’s standards.
3. Communicate how important your life and the family around you are no matter the circumstance. We all have bad days, but communicating how important each and every person is, whether it’s a good day or a bad one, gives your children an understanding that they are “unconditionally” loved.
4. See yourself as always developing and learning. This allows your growing child to feel free to make mistakes and strive for progress rather than perfection.
A story to keep in mind
Last week, my daughter and I were inside Circle K filling up on drinks and snacks before heading on a road trip. We were standing in line to get our drinks, and my daughter noticed a man covered with tattoos. One noticeable one was on his neck—it read “Satan” She quickly moved closer to my side. I started a conversation with the gentlemen, and as we paid for our drinks, I asked the cashier if I could buy his drinks as well. When we got back into the car, my daughter looked at me and said, “That was really nice. When I grow up, I’m going to do that, too!” I will always be aware of how I am acting around my children because they are always watching!
Dr. Wylie began his private practice in Anthem 10 years ago. He also maintains part-time involvement with local public school districts and holds current certification from the Arizona Department of Education. To learn more about him, visit psychologicaltestingcenter.com.