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Self Esteem


Therapeutic Activities

Self-esteem refers to how children feel about themselves and expect to be accepted and valued by others who are important to them.

What Is Self Esteem?

Self Esteem Test

Low Self Esteem, End It!

Building Your Child's Self Esteem

Self Esteem and Exercise

Self Image and Esteem

Body Image and Self Esteem

Families have the opportunity to give words of life
(grace) or words of death (criticism) to one another.
As parents, our words either bring a smile to the face,
or a punch in the stomach.  The old phrase "Sticks and
stones may break my bones, but words will never harm
me," is simply not true.  Words and the tones of our
words speak volumes to those we love.

Jill Savage is the founder and director of Hearts at
Home (

    Good job!
     I'm glad you're my son\daughter.
     I like you!
     That was really great!
     I love the way you fixed your hair!
     That shirt looks great on you!
     You played that song beautifully!
     You are a great friend!
     You'll make a wonderful wife\husband some day!
     Thanks for cleaning your room.
     You're so strong!
     I can always count on you.
     I trust you.
     You are God's special gift to me.
     You light up my day.
     My favorite part of the day is picking
     you up from school.
     I missed having you around today.
     You're such a good helper.
     I'm proud of you!
     Way to go!
     I knew you could do it!
     God made a masterpiece when He made you.
     You are such a treasure!
     You are one of God's greatest gifts to me.
     I'm behind you.
     I'm praying for you.
     That was so responsible.
     You're a joy.
     How did you get so smart!
     That was so creative.
     Hurray for you!
     Thank you.

This was taken from Sharon Jaynes' book, Being a Great
Mom, Raising Great Kids (Moody Press 2000).

Sharon Jaynes is the President of Proverbs 31
Ministries, Inc. and feature writer for their monthly
newsletter, the P-31 Woman.  She is also the co-host
for their daily radio program and conference speaker
for women's events from coast to coast. Sharon is the
author of several books including, Being a Great Mom -
Raising Great Kids, and Seven Life Principles for Every
Woman - Refreshing Ways to Prioritize Your Life, and At
Home With God, stories of life love and laughter.  To
learn more about Proverbs 31 Ministries, visit

Negative Thinking


Strengthening the Family Circle
By Dayle Shockley
Copyright 2004

"Do you love me?"

This question from a child is often asked in jest,
preceding a request for a parent to do something or buy
something, but I wonder if our children are as aware of
our love for them as they should be.  In our busy
world, it's easy to let our expressions of love for our
children go unsaid.

Here are some things you can say that will show you

(1) "Did you have a good day or a bad day today?"

Asking the standard, "How was your day?" is sometimes
met with a shrug. Being specific will get you more
specific answers.

Whether a child says he had a good or bad day, you can
follow-up with, "Well tell me about it."  And then make
sure you listen, offering help in areas that might make
a difference for them, and praising them when

Taking an interest in your children's activities lets
them know that their activities and feelings are
important to you.

(2) "Could I get your opinion on this?"

Few things make children feel more special than having
their opinion sought out. When Rebecca was a girl, she
says her mother would ask for her opinion about whether
a handbag matched a pair of shoes, or if a certain
picture would look good hung above the fireplace. "This
always made me feel so special and grown-up," says
Rebecca. "Like what I thought really mattered to my

Children need to know that their opinions and ideas
have merit. By seeking them out, we may discover that
our children have unique strengths and gifts, which
could help chart a course for their future. After all,
every great invention started with an opinion or idea.

(3) "I can't allow you to do that."

Child experts have been saying for years that children
need and want boundaries. Without boundaries, children
are left to govern themselves, which can be
frightening. But don't expect your children to like the
boundaries and rules you establish for them. It is
their nature to rebel against the rules.

By the same token, don't be intimidated by their
rebellion, and don't back down from what you know is
right. Parents are accountable to God for the things
they allow their children to do. Keeping that in mind
will help you stay firm. In time, your children will
understand you acted out of love.

(4) "Can you help me with this?"

Children enjoy helping out. It makes them feel
necessary to the family's well-being. Even a first-
grader can do a good job setting the table or folding a
load of towels from the dryer. Sharing chores gives
children a chance to taste of life in the "real" world,
and helps them see that it takes a lot of effort to
make a family work.

When children complete chores, be sure and thank them.

(5) "This belongs to you."

Children deserve a place that belongs solely to them.
It may be a room, or just part of a room screened off
for privacy. In any event, allow them to decorate it as
they please, as long as it falls within your guidelines
of appropriate. By giving your children some control of
their lives, you are saying, "I trust you to make good
choices." Such trust from a parent is important in
fostering a sense of responsibility in children.

(6) "I'm sorry."

Not only do parents need to apologize to their children
whenever they have crossed a line when correcting them,
or jumped to a conclusion before knowing the facts, but
parents should also express regret whenever children
face personal disappointments and setbacks. Just
knowing that you care, whenever they are feeling sad,
gives children a solid assurance of your love, even if
you can't fix the problem.

Many times a child is disappointed in himself. Maybe he
lost something of value because of careless behavior.
It is easy for parents to further the child's feeling
of guilt by chiding him for his lack of responsibility
or his clumsiness. But this kind of reaction can have
devastating effects on children, making them feel
worthless and unworthy of your love.

Instead, share the child's heartache. By saying, "I'm
so sorry you lost your watch. I know you must feel
terrible about it," you not only give the child a
chance to come to terms with his mistake, but you show
him that you care about him, even when he has
disappointed you.

If we consider how many times we have disappointed our
Heavenly Father with our own lack of responsibility,
and how many times he has expressed sorrow, instead of
hitting us over the head, then we will understand the
importance of embracing our children whenever they have
let us down.

Children need to feel loved, and we should make sure
that we remind them of our love regularly.  In
addition, we should look for signs that they are
confident of our love.  Are your children self-
motivated?  Do they like themselves?  Do they mix with
others well?  Are they cooperative and unselfish?  Do
they have a sense of humor?  Are they resourceful?  If
the usual answer to most of these questions is yes, we
can feel confident that are our children are well aware
of our unconditional love for them.  And if we are
lucky, perhaps they will return the same kind of love
to us.


Dayle Allen Shockley is an author whose work has
appeared in dozens of publications. Her editorials and
essays are regular features in The Dallas Morning News
and online at Jewish World Review. Most "Strengthening
the Family Circle" articles originally appeared in The
Dallas Morning News.

Dayle lives with her family in Texas, and is a writing
instructor at North Harris College in Houston. Contact
her at

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