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Can removal of criticism enhance your child’s self-esteem?

Kelly Armatage tells us how best to treat our children to boost their self-esteem and make them confident and self-reliant individuals.

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As a Cognitive Behavioural Specialist & Counsellor and having worked with thousands of kids, adults and individuals over the last decade. One thing that became quite clear to me pretty early on was the stress that criticism, judgement and control could do to an individual’s self-esteem and self-confidence.

Criticism/control —the learned behaviour that causes anxiety, guilt and a lack of confidence to those who do not have the mechanism and assertiveness in place to prevent others from doing it – (i.e., vulnerable children and sensitive individuals). Some of us are not even aware that we have a habit of controlling, criticising and picking on others.  It is so wired on a neural pathway level as a behaviour, with subconscious pay-offs in place, that we are blinkered to the effects it has on our stress levels and to those that are on the receiving end.

Five ways to define if you are a critical parent

1. You have a shy kid

2. Your child has a lack of confidence

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3. You feel angry about your child’s ‘flaws’

4. Your child is attention seeking

5. Intuitively you know you’re putting your child down

Criticism comes in the form of scolding, nagging, judging, correcting negatively and controlling someone else.  It comes from the need to change another.  It comes from the non-acceptance of oneself and projecting that to another. Criticism is formed due to a fear of the other person ‘failing’, but is actually a projection of your own fear of failure. Criticism was picked up as a habit as it was modelled from one’s own critical parent.  Criticism hurts children deeply and is an incorrect parenting technique.

If criticism is something you feel you are doing to your child, do not fear—it can be changed.

Here are my 5 steps to help you remove criticism towards your kids, thus enhancing their confidence and self-esteem immediately: –

1. Forgive yourself for past criticism and judgement to your child/children.  You were doing the very best you can as a parent, with the modelled behaviour you were carrying.  No-one intentionally sets out to hurt or punish another individual, for they are genuinely non-aware of the negative habits and actions they are carrying.

2. Remove all fears from your mind of your child ‘failing’ on any level. Change can occur and it can occur now. A parent that has a fear of their child ‘failing’ actually manifests energetically through the emittance of their own negative emotions / behaviours the child’s future failure. Feel in harmony with your child’s future success!

3. Use encouragement, use compliments, use positive words, use support when interacting with your kids. Choose compassion, choose forgiveness, choose love and emit these emotions to your child when you interact with him/her.

4. Learn to remove your own shyness, your own fears of failure, your own self judgement.  Learn to enhance your own self-esteem and self-confidence through positive self-reinforcement. Your kids will see this example of peace, love and confidence that you are showing and will subconsciously model that.

5. If you slip and criticise your child (even though you made the intention to stop), forgive yourself immediately, old habits are tough to break. Go forward with your new plan and path of inner and outer encouragement, support and compliments. In no time, you will see yourself and your children flourish with these new loving changes.

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