Spoil My Family his sharing with us the One Word that Encourages Self Esteem in Children.
My son was enjoying his play, but then he suddenly slammed a piece on the table and became very angry. Everything had been fine. But out of nowhere – the screaming started. He threw a gear across the table. After I ducked, I went in to investigate.
I went to him and immediately recognized how frustrated he was and put it into words for him. “Wow! You seem really frustrated! What happened?” I seriously don’t know why I ask anymore. Just the question itself brings a flood of tears and explanations all at the same time. And I have no idea what he’s saying while he’s wailing. I really should just wait.
I realized all too soon that he had not been able to do something he wanted to do. His mind and imagination wanted to put those little blocks and gears together in a way that his tiny fingers weren’t quite ready to achieve. It was frustration at its worst. I get it! I’ve been there and been really frustrated at trying to do something that I just couldn’t make happen.
So as he explained that he wanted to start building the gears vertically but it just wasn’t working, his frustration turned to anger and anxiety – “I can’t do it!!! I can’t do anything! I can’t build this. It’s useless.” Hearing your child feel helpless is like taking a 2 x 4 to the stomach!
I’ve learned one word to help these situations. And I love using this word, because it teaches him that he is not a failure – even though he didn’t achieve what he wanted at this time.
And the thing is – nine times out of ten within two minutes of saying he can’t do something, he does it! But he hasn’t seemed to put that together no matter how many times I point it out. So I’ve figured out another way to help him start to piece together that he can do more than he thinks he can in the moment of his frustration.
I’m working with him to turn his perception of the situation around completely. This word encourages self esteem in children. All children. And here’s the one word that does it.