Jean Illsley Clarke - WE Newsletter Issue 41, Volume 7
Self- esteem is the gift of love most of us would like to be able to give our children - the children we parent or teach or care about.
We want our children to have self-confidence and to know that they are lovable. Some days we aren't sure how to do that. Some days our own self-esteem is low and we wonder how to give what we do not have.
Like yesterday, when I did something I hated when my parents did it and I vowed that I would never do it. But I did, because the old ways is "bred-in-the-bone" and I fall back on it when I am unsure of myself or when I have lost sight of other options.
So what are my options? How can I build my internal resources?
Or you say "If I haven't been giving it I will feel guilty or hopeless." Don't fret! Forgive yourself and start today. Human beings have an amazing ability to fill in what they did not get earlier.
Or you say, "My children know that I love them," or "I tell them every week; isn't that enough?" Partly. We need to say it in lots of different ways. And children learn more from what we do than from what we say.
"OK, Ok," you say. "I'm willing to say it and do it in new ways, but how?"
I love you. Period.
First of all, practice saying "I love you" without any double standards (When, if, until, as long as, except when, etc.) Just plain "I love you." Period.
My mother used to say, "I love you when you are good." Then she didn't tell me how to be good! "I love you," period is the way we help our children get past some of the "I love you when..." double standards that we experienced.
Love is unconditional. Love is. All of the wens and ifs link love to approval and have caused some of us adults to doubt that straight unconditional love even exists. But it does, and as we feel it for our children, we can start to reclaim some of it for ourselves.
We can practice in the shower saying "I love myself, I love myself, I love myself," until it feels comfortable.
We can let all of the old "I love you when you take care of me, " and "I love you if you keep the family secrets," messages run down the drain and leave us with the pure, clean love that we want to offer our kids.
But don't we ever say anything more than I love you? Yes, indeed. There are specific love messages or affirmations that we offer to let children know that we love them unconditionally and that we are glad they are doing the developmental tasks that they need to be doing for their age and stage.
The "Love Affirmations" are:
They say "I love you and its okay with me that you are doing your developmental tasks."
For more information about developmental affirmations: CLICK HERE
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