Valentine’s Day is more than paper cards and candy hearts. It’s an opportunity to show our love to our friends and family. While we’re spreading that love, it’s also a good time to teach our kids how to point Cupid’s arrow at their own hearts!
Helping kids learn to love and accept themselves is our responsibility as parents. It’s an important lesson that will help build their self esteem and set them up for success in many social settings, including school and sports.
What are some ways we can teach our kids to love themselves?
Lead by Example
We as parents can model what it means to love ourselves. Do not put yourself down in front of your kids, but rather keep your comments about yourself positive. And make sure you take time for yourself. This can be hard when you feel like you only have time to take care of your family, but it will send an important message about self-fulfillment.
Take an Interest
Show your kids what they do is important to you by talking with them about their interests and activities. I understand how busy parents are, but try to attend their games, parents’ day at school, plays and award ceremonies. If you can’t make it, be sure to explain why. By showing interest in your kids, you’ll help build their sense of pride.
Give Them Responsibility
In my house, the kids help with setting up lunch time, cleaning up our toys, etc. Kids like to feel useful and valued. When children do a good job- tell them! You can also reward a job well done by letting your kids do something special or giving them more responsibility. This helps build their self-confidence.
By helping children develop acceptance for those with different cultures, backgrounds and physical and mental abilities, you’re also helping them accept themselves. It can be as simple as watching movies, reading books or spending time with a variety of people. Be sure to point out other people’s strengths and not just their differences.