At school and their little sporting events they have praise lavished upon every little effort, as we grownups attempt to make their little lives more meaningful. Sadly our efforts aren’t really encouraging our little ones to do anything meaningful, as much as we are simply just telling them how meaningful they are.
A while back a team of researchers predicted that the children of the next generation would respond positively to parents’ misguided efforts of using obscene amounts of praise to help raise children’s self esteem. That their newfound self worth would help them be filled with civic responsibility and optimism. Sadly, according to recent research, our efforts have created tiny little beings that are significantly more self-centered, depressed and disrespectful towards authority.
If we really want kids who have good self esteem, who feel like they matter and are making a real difference on this planet we need our children to be selfless, community oriented creatures who recognize the needs of others. They need to know that the world does not revolve around them as much as they would like to think it does.
One of the best things we can do to help our child develop a true sense of self esteem is to help them be socially aware. To care about others in our community and the world beyond. To recognize that they can make a difference and empower them to do so.
From simple tasks you can do as a family such as playground beautification, to more complex projects like serving in a homeless shelter or joining a relief team headed to a local disaster site. There is a very wide spectrum of projects limited only by your imagination as a parent, and your child’s natural abilities.
Looking for some good ways to get your youngsters involved in the community? Check out these ideas…