Days 19 to 24

Days 19 to 24
Helping your child to express her feelings enhances her sense of well-being and helps her improve her relationships with others.

19. Help your child recognize her strengths

If you see your child gets discouraged when comparing herself to a friend who’s really good at, say, drawing or playing ball, it’s always a good thing to take a moment to talk to her about it. When you help her to name activities she thinks she’s good at, you help her recognize her own strengths. It’ll then be easier for her to overcome the little everyday difficulties she experiences at home and at daycare.

20. Encourage her to express her feelings

“I encourage my children to verbally express their feelings, both good and bad, to someone they trust, and not to bottle them up inside,” says Manon, mother to 4-year-old Olivia, 7-year-old Gabriel and 9-year-old Antoni. Helping your child to express her feelings enhances her sense of well-being and helps her improve her relationships with others. Moreover, she’ll feel supported and reassured to know that you can help her.

21. Recognize your child’s efforts

When you take the time to tell your child that you noticed that she made an effort to control her anger, put her toys away or do things on her own, for example, you help her become aware of her progress and abilities.

22. Encourage her creativity

When you offer your child various objects she can use to create anything she wants (e.g.: recycled material for collages, drawings crafts, etc.), you encourage her creativity.

You also help her develop her own identity by showcasing her creations, which are as unique as she is!

The “esteem-killers”
  • Words that hurt
    “Harmful words, used repeatedly, give a child a negative self-image,” says Germain Duclos. “She may end up believing that she’s not a good person and that she doesn’t deserve to be loved.”
  • Comparisons with other children
    Comparing your child to others, telling her for example that she isn’t as nice or as good at doing things as another child her age, is a sure-fire way to lower her self-esteem.
  • Unrealistic expectations
    “Demanding things that are beyond your child’s abilities is setting her up for failure,” says Germain Duclos. “When a child experiences failure time after time, she’ll come to the conclusion that she’s not a competent person and this will affect her self-image.”
 

23. Play with your young child

When you take the time to play with your child, when you put all other concerns out of your mind and simply enjoy yourself with her, you strengthen your mutual bond. And when you take part in her favourite activities, your child will be proud to show you what she can do. Taking a break from the daily grind to simply play will do you as much good as your child!

24. Encourage her to finish what she starts

Be with your child when she starts something and help her follow it through to the end (e.g.: a construction game, a recipe you make together, a craft, etc.). This will allow her to experience success and it will also teach her to persevere.