Getting Real With Shadra Bruce

Like adults, children need less judgment and more understanding. They need less control and more choices. They need encouragement to be their own unique individual selves and unconditional love. They need less “no” and more, “you can do that.”

Kids need love. They need people to cheer them on. They need people to believe in them. They don’t need people to tell them they would be better if they did things the way you think they should do them, thought the way you think they should think, or believe what you believe. And they need to know that it’s ok to risk and try and fail – and that no matter what they do, you’ll always be there for them and have their back.

If you want to raise kids with better self-esteem, do these 3 things:

1. Praise your kids. Tell them how amazing they are – not how pretty they are or how handsome they are but how smart they are, how kind they are. Pay attention so that you notice all of the amazing things they do, and tell them when you see them do them.

2. Encourage your children’s passions. From the moment your infant begins to learn about the world and express a personality, welcome and support their exploration. Foster their curiosity and give them new ways to explore.

3. Don’t do everything for them. Have patience as they learn to do for themselves. Put down your phone and teach them. Put down your phone and watch them. Put down your phone.

Helping our children grow up to be happy adults means allowing them control over their identity, their destiny, and their lives, even when it is not what we picture for them.