How to Value A Child’s Uniqueness
Feeling valued is a basic human need
It is important for every child to feel valued, especially young children who have not yet developed the self-esteem and judgement required to understand how and why to value themselves.
Research has shown that feeling valued is linked to a person’s emotional well-being which in turn creates our uniqueness. A child who learns to value themselves will uncover their inner strength – a tool they will grow up to understand can be used to transform their lives. Discovering their value will also make it easier for them to make and keep friends, be happy, be successful and ultimately reach all the goals they set for themselves both during childhood and adulthood.
As parents, we are uniquely placed to help a child accept themselves for who they are and recognize their self-worth. Fortunately, there is a simple way we can help a child do this.
Use The Power of Conversation to make yourself approachable
A child needs to feel they can talk to their parents or caregiver about anything that is on their mind. Encourage your child to engage in a conversations with you by routinely asking them questions about themselves. In response, give honest answers to their concerns and share your own feelings about daily life or on matters that affect their life.
On occasion, your child may struggle to understand that you can’t always drop everything to talk. However, letting your child know when you’ll be free to spend time with them, and committing to it, is a good compromise. If you have more than one child, you will need to ensure you have one-to-one time with each of them.
When a child feels they are being ignored, it can make them feel excluded. Since children have relatively little control over what happens in their lives, feeling ignored can lead to emotional complexities. Your child will want to share their feelings and opinions with you. Active listening, including sitting at eye level with them, giving them time to finish what they want to say before you speak, and repeating their words back to them to check your understanding will show them you are wholly focused on them.
Let Them Talk
When they are young, your child may struggle to get their words out; they may think faster than they can vocalize their thoughts. Giving them time to finish, not interrupting or talking over them, and not trying to guess what they are trying to say allows them to express their views and shows them they are important enough to be heard.
Consider Your Response
Your child has made the effort to talk to you. Giving their words your full consideration lets them know they have been understood and their wishes or concerns are not being ignored. It is especially important to do this if you’re trying to resolve any conflict. Asking them what happened and letting them explain the situation before you make a decision demonstrates fairness. It also lets them feel that, even if your answer is not what they want, you have not made any assumptions about them and they have had the opportunity to be heard. The exception might be if you catch them out in an obvious lie and you don’t want to give them the chance to offend again.
Show Them You Value Them
There are several ways you can show your child you value them for who they are. In the process you will get to know what motivates them best. By giving children lots of praise and recognition for their efforts and achievements, you will increase their self-confidence. You can also gently remind them of any challenges they previously faced while highlighting the amazing capabilities they displayed in how they overcame those challenges. The lessons they will learn are that competence comes with practice and that they have great problem solving skills/ You will be be supportive without damaging their confidence or discouraging them from trying again. You can also demonstrate your belief in them and their contribution by the way you interact with them.
Respond to Their Cues
Recognizing and acting on your child’s cues is important. Like adults, who can find it hard to tell someone how they feel, children can find it difficult too. This typically happens if a child is struggling to understand the emotions they’re experiencing. If they’re happy, you can ask why and celebrate their successes with them. If they’re sad, asking why, reassuring them you’re not judging them, and letting them know it’s alright to get emotional sometimes helps validate their feelings. these methods will also increase their trust in you and the belief that you’re interested in them as a person in their own right.
Every person wants to be seen as a unique individual who matters to the people around them. This self-belief needs to be introduced to a child during the early developmental stages of its life. And it’s a parent’s job to help their child build it.