Personal Power - advice for parents

Importance of the Personal Power life skill for children

High self esteem and self confidence allow children to feel good about who they are and believe in themselves.  These children are more likely to try new things and pick themselves up and bounce back after a difficult experience. These are very valuable personal attributes and life skills for your child.

Benefits of the Personal Power life skill for children

The benefits of teaching children the personal power life skills for kids are that kids who accept themselves are less likely to succumb to peer pressure or have the need to be like others and are more likely to discover what they can contribute. Children who don’t feel good about themselves are more likely to succumb to peer pressure, be bullied, behave defensively and be insecure which often results in all kinds of negative behaviour, especially in difficult circumstances. 

Our son is only four, and so it’s very important for me to help him feel good about himself and to help him develop his personal power so he can continue to explore the world, learn from his experiences and grow. Exploration and being open to new experiences is likely to be easier for a child who has a good sense of themselves and feels safe and secure. Children who do not feel sure of themselves or feel unsafe are more likely to shy away from new experiences.

Personal Power - teaching children life skills

Personal power is about self esteem and resilience and relates to how children ‘feel’ about themselves and what they ‘believe’ about themselves. 

The Inspired Children Personal Power e-book offers advice and support for parents by developing your parenting skills a little at a time. The e-book contains 12 activitities that offer practical, easy to follow 15 minute activities and parenting tips which will help parents to inspire children and support your kids life skills development. Here’s a taste of what you and your child can learn about self esteem and personal power:

Helping Parents develop the Personal Power life skill in their children

There are many ways to support self esteem for kids. Advice for parents and helpful parenting tips include:

Spending time and interacting in a caring way with your child tells them that you believe they are important and loved. They can then internalise your beliefs and behaviours. That is, if you believe they are important and lovable they must be important and lovable - because parents are always right. Right? The opposite also holds true. Children can interpret an absent parent as meaning that they are not a priority or an important part of their parent’s life and this can be internalised and can lead to poor self esteem.

Understanding and explaining the difference between self esteem and self confidence to your child is important for supporting self esteem. Self confidence is about doing. The more a child practices something the more confident they can become at a task. It is beneficial to help your child see that self esteem is NOT about doing but about ‘being’. Every person is a unique and valuable being in their own right. They deserve respect and love regardless of what they have done in their life or what they look like. Helping a child to see they are loved and valuable just because they are and for no other reason is a huge support for their self esteem. Tying a child’s self worth to what they do in life can harm their self esteem. Children can come to believe that they are only valuable or deserve love if they achieve something. 

Children look to their parents to learn about how to act in the world. A parent who has good self esteem provides a wonderful role model for their child to follow. By the same token a parent who regularly puts themselves or their child down with language like “you’re so hurtful/stupid/bad/naughty” etc can harm their child’s self esteem. Furthermore the child may believe these words for life. With my son I focus on talking about his bad behaviour rather than calling him names. For example I might say “it hurts when you bite or hit someone else. It’s not OK to bite or hit. You need to use your words if you are upset with your friends. NO biting.” In this way he knows his behaviour is hurtful but I have not told him HE is a hurtful or bad child. This is an important difference. 

Learn more about how teaching children life skills can take the pain out of parenthood - Win Win Parenting