Picture taken this morning before I dropped them off for the day.
This morning there was a "Mom's Coffee" right after I dropped my girls off, so I decided to attend. There was coffee (duh) and muffins and fruit, and the camp director and his wife talked for about an hour about "Building Your Child's Self-Esteem." I ended up taking notes and thought they made several good points. Some I had heard before, but needed to be reminded of, and others were new and gave me pause to consider how I can implement them. Here's an abbreviated version of the talk given this morning.
Four Gifts We Can Give Our Children to Build Their Self-Esteem:
1. The Gift of Community
--The greatest community your kids will be a part of is your family unit.
--Set and prioritize family traditions (i.e. dinner at the table each night, Friday night family movie night, bedtime routines, birthday/holiday traditions, game night, etc.)
--Set family standards (suggestion: have a night where you make a list as a family writing out what you stand for. Then you can refer to those in moments of discipline. "Remember, you are a Galloway. And us Galloways treat each other with respect, so I expect you to not hit your sister, even if she was bothering you.")
--Encourage strong sibling bonds (your siblings are your best practice for marriage later on--learning compromise, communication, sharing, etc.).
2. The Gift of Our Words
--A parent's words have the strongest influence over our children's lives.
--Praise your children often. But in that, try to look for ways to praise their character, not just their actions. ("I really like the way you showed compassion by playing with that little girl who was feeling left out.")
--Boys tend to communicate best shoulder to shoulder (taking an walk, playing a game, helping with a project) where girls tend to communicate better eye to eye (sitting across from them as you play tea party, listening to them as you tuck them in at night).
3. The Gift of Acceptance
-- Accept how your child is individually wired.
-- Accept their mistakes, but talk with them about what happened and what they could do differently the next time.
--Model humility (don't be afraid to go to them and say, "I'm sorry I lost my temper with you earlier. Will you forgive me?")
--Emphasize your unconditional love for them ("I will always love you even when you disobey." "Nothing you could ever do would make me stop loving you.")
* I thought the director shared a good point when he said he talked to his pre-teen daughter about modest vs. immodest clothes. He and his wife set the standard for clothing, but he said they told her she could experiment with her own choices within those parameters. Daisy Duke cut off jean shorts? No way. Purple sequined t-shirt with red leggings and lime green belt? Sure! Be creative!
4. The Gift of Prayer
-- Pray that your child realizes God's unconditional love for them
-- Pray that your child realizes his or her immense value
-- Pray for them not to have an easy life, but to have deep roots that can withstand the trials of this world.
-- Pray for wisdom in how you raise them
What do you think? Things you liked? Anything you want to add to the conversation?
Tomorrow is the girls' last day. It's been a great week!