This is a subject dear to the hearts of educators and child-care workers. Yes, sometimes they go overboard, but all of us need to learn that we are worthwhile human beings, and outside of what some other people think or say about us. Each of us has certain talents and strong points that make us special in some way. Each of us deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.
We have a duty to help our children learn self-respect and self-worth. The world is full of people who would take advantage of others if allowed… and yes, we ALLOW them to do it by giving in to their demands, doing all the work because they won’t help, putting up with their mistreatment of us, and otherwise refusing to stand up for ourselves. This can get very dangerous when you consider what happens to women (and sometimes men) who are in abusive relationships.
We owe it to our youngsters to tell them they are loved no matter what, in spite of temper tantrums or messy rooms. My child recently asked me if I would still love her if she accidentally burned the house down! Teens especially need to know they are loved and appreciated, in spite of being REALLY difficult. That is an age where a LOT of love and understanding mixed with firmness and advice is needed to help get past the trials of life. Praise your children when they do well at something, tell them their good points and acknowledge their talents. Don’t be fooled – even talented or popular or straight-A kids can feel inferior. Grow your children independent and strong and, above all, teach them that they are worthy of being loved and treated well.
Recommended books: Momma Do You Love Me?, Girls on Track: A Parent’s Guide, Dads and Daughters (for raising teen girls)