Parenting Tips

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Developing Self-Esteem in your Child

In Singapore, the emphasis on children to is develop their academic skills and talents. While is it important to do that, more often than not, the emotion aspect is being ignored. By that, I am referring to Self-Esteem or Emotion Intelligence.

In this technological era, children are already exposed to computers at a very young age. While this may be good in some ways, the human relationship aspect can be lacking. So, it is important to develop self-esteem in children for them to interact with others.

Here are some activities that parents may role-play with their children:

1) The Way You Walk - this game aims to identify emotions

Example 1 -
Father storms into the room angrily
Example 2 - Mother hums a tune while doing her chores
  • Ask the children what each of this scenario signifies
  • If they are able to tell you, then you are half-way through
  • Go on to explain that if they notice someone else in this manner, what should they do.
Involve the children to role-play as well. When they are able to relate, they may share their experience in school with you. Recognize each emotion and discuss what possible action(s) can be taken.

2) What's NOT wrong - this game aims to identify ups and downs of life
When things go wrong, focus on the positive aspects instead.

Example 1 - The car broke down
  • Take a bus or MRT instead
  • It has been a long time since the children last had such a ride
  • It is a totally different experience and most kids love it
Example 2 - There is a heavy downpour outside
  • Tell them this will bring down the haze
  • Play some indoor games
  • It is a good time for bonding.
By focusing on the positive aspect, it also signifies that there is always the bright side of things, no matter how bad the situation is.

3) Musical Drawings - this game aims to express emotions
Play different types of music - lullaby, classical, rocky, jazz, etc
  • Get the children to draw when the music is on
  • Note what kind of picture comes out after the music stops
  • If the drawing constantly depict a different mood from the music, it is an alarm call
  • Talk to your child and find out what is bothering them
As the saying goes, a picture speaks a thousand words

4) Listening Game - this game aims to develop inner strength
When your child approaches you and wants your attention, spare him/her the time.
  • Try not to interrupt when they speak
  • Even when you have doubts, let them finish before drawing any conclusion
  • Seek clarification at the appropriate moments
More often that not, they just want a listening ear. Being willing to listen helps when you offer advice later.

Parents, hope you will find the above tips useful.

"Children are our most valuable natural resource." By Herbert Hoover


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