Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Child self esteem and courage - toddlers

Building your child's self esteem by teaching him courage: The Toddler Years

When your baby starts to walk, this is a key stage in learning courage. He will inevitably take a few tumbles, and your reaction can play a big part in what he learns about dealing with mishaps, fear, bravery and risk taking.

It's all about finding a balance. Any extreme is dangerous. For instance, if your toddler falls and hurts himself, and you immediately rush to him in a panic, he will learn to react badly to setbacks.

On the other hand, if you don't react at all when he hurts himself, he learns that his cries for help are ignored and becomese insecure.

The best balance is to react with calm reassurance to any mishaps. When he takes a tumble, pause for a moment rather than reacting instantaneously. If he's not really hurt and looks to you for reassurance, you can simply say cheerfully, "oops! Try again!" On the other hand if he becomes very upset, it's important to react and give him as much comfort as he needs - but in a calm way. Let him cry for a while if he needs to, don't hush him, just be there to let him express his upset in the safe environment of your arms!

Happy self esteem building with your child!


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