Parents’ positive intentions to help their children may end up causing harm to their self-esteem, according to a report published by Psychology Today.
A healthy and strong self-esteem is crucial for children. Having a strong self-esteem encourages you to overcome challenges, try new things, and believe in yourself. Self-esteem also has a significant impact on how a person views himself, shaping his behaviors and decisions.
Loving parents can sometimes unintentionally harm a child’s self-esteem. Poor parental communication is often caused by parental misjudgment, which can negatively affect children’s self-esteem even though parents have positive primary intentions. To avoid these mistakes, you should first know what they are and how they cause a negative impact.
4 types of negative behaviour
1. Harsh Criticism Criticizing a parent can be emotionally challenging, especially if done in a harsh or demeaning manner. Critical comments can erode a child’s self-esteem and sense of value and can cause feelings of sadness, anger, or frustration. Sharp reprimands can also lead to low motivation for children and a lack of confidence in their abilities.
2. Overprotection: Constantly protecting a child from challenges and obstacles can prevent them from developing confidence and a sense of competence. While parents may want to do everything they can to make sure their children don’t suffer in life, ironically, they stifle their children by being too controlling. Overprotection can also limit a child’s opportunities to explore, learn, and make mistakes, all of which are important to his or her growth and development.
Overprotective children can also lead to feelings of anxiety and insecurity, as they may not feel ready to face the world on their own. It can also create a sense of dependency and lack of independence, which can be a problem as children transition into adulthood.
Parents need to strike a balance between protecting their children and allowing them to take risks and face challenges, to help them develop into confident and self-sufficient individuals. Encouraging independence, enhancing self-esteem, and teaching problem-solving skills can help mitigate the negative effects of overprotectiveness.
3. Injecting feelings of guilt: It is possible for a parent to ask the child how he would feel if he was in his place or if someone else was in a certain situation. But, more often than not, parents take this approach to the limit and try to make their children feel guilty for their thoughts, feelings, or actions. Parents who use guilt to control their children can run the risk of alienating their children.
4. Speaking sarcastically: Some parents use sarcasm by saying things they don’t mean or hinting at the opposite of what they say through their tone of voice. The use of sarcasm hurts children because it makes them feel ashamed. Unfortunately, insulting a child through ridicule creates an obstacle to trying to communicate effectively – and leads to very negative results.
As a result of exposure to negative parenting behavior, despite the best intentions, the child can throw tantrums, express resentment, argue often, be stubborn, and defy reasonable requests.
The ways of interacting with the child play a huge influence in shaping how he develops his self-worth in his life. The more parents communicate in positive ways, the more they can influence their children positively, supporting them and contributing to their having a strong self-esteem. Parents should foster a caring and supportive environment and provide unconditional love, encouragement and positive reinforcement to foster a child’s healthy self-esteem.
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