One of the most difficult aspects of being an “adult-child” of a parent or parents with low self-esteem is to believe in self-worth, and passing this self-worth unto the children in our lives. An inherent lack of valuing oneself can and does lead to a lifetime of behavior problems, which can include; anger management issues, obsessive and compulsive behaviors, an inability to productively communicate needs, inappropriate behaviors, and being inattentive to the needs of others.
Building a positive self-image, promotes a lifetime of social and emotional aptitude, which enables children to grow-up and become productive members of society, by empowering them and permitting them to become their best selves.
It is not narcissistic to have a healthy self-worth; it is however, a realistic understanding of one’s strengths and challenges. Knowing what you are good at, and taking pride in it, and understanding the areas in your life that need improvement, and positively working towards that goal, are life-long lessons. These lessons begin at birth, and need to be fostered throughout our lifetimes, to feel successful and content with who we are.
It is an innate requirement to feel loved, unconditionally, in spite of our shortcomings, and when that demand is met, by our parents, teachers, caregivers, family members, neighbors, or any other prominent adult in our lives, we feel respected. Children whom feel respected “pay it forward” by respecting their; surroundings, environment, and communities in which they live. Being responsive to a child’s needs, permits them to in turn be responsive to the needs of others.
We all know or have met, at least one person, who clearly did not have their needs met as children, and we have all witnessed what can and does happen to these people, perhaps; they are morbidly obese, obsessed with their own interests, unable to hold onto a job, lack decidedness, have trouble maintaining intimate relationships, suffer from anxiety, indulge in compulsive behaviors, or they appear to be malcontent, to name a few issues.
What can we do as adults to create higher functioning in the children in our care? For starters, we can improve our own self-confidence, what are your strengths, hone in on those and put your challenges aside for a while. Keep a positive attitude, not fake, that’s too transparent, but a positive one that commits to seeing everybody’s might (including your own) and forgiving them their fragilities.
Express your feelings in a positive and productive manner and encourage your children to do the same, even if it includes; tears, tantrums, and sadness at first, eventually the result will be a healthy output of emotions.
Most importantly, allow yourself to PLAY and HAVE FUN, with your children, and without your children, being happy is an important aspect to a positive self-image!