Capable and Worthwhile

Children are like a garden; if we tend to them they will grow and flourish.

As parents, we have the unique opportunity to influence our children’s feelings about themselves. Recognizing the importance of self-esteem is a critical factor in helping your child grow up to become a healthy adult.

Here are some positive strategies that you can incorporate into your parenting to enhance your child’s self-esteem:

• Providing unconditional positive regard is of utmost importance in parenting. This is a fundamental acceptance and approval of each individual child, including accepting the child’s right to be different from his or her siblings, parents and other family members.

A great deal has been written about preparing children for the first day of school. Little seems to address helping a child make the transition from summer vacation to re-entering school. As children venture back to school after nearly three months of recess, relaxation and recreation, many will anxiously anticipate returning to school as they’ll be reunited with friends. For other children, the reality of returning to school is not looked upon with such fond anticipation. Becoming reacclimated to school, with its demands and structure, may produce feelings of anxiety and stress in your child.

The following suggestions can help parents assist children shift gears from the 3 Rs of summer to the 3 Rs of school:

- Involve your child in the many preparatory activities for the school year (sorting through last year’s clothes, new-clothes shopping, purchasing school supplies, selecting school lunches and snacks).
- Have children draw pictures of what they think this new grade will be like to provide some insights to you about what hopes and fears they may have.

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