As we discussed yesterday, Mom plays a very significant part in the development of the child’s self-esteem. As the child grows past infancy dad plays an equally significant role. It’s very important, however, for parents to understand that they will be handing off the self-esteem baton.
Parents always play a part in affirming the worth of the child, but parents aren’t always around. A two decade training process takes place of pointing a child toward the right audience of affirmation. One way or another you hand off to the audience that your child looks to for affirmation. If you hand off your child’s focus for affirmation to an audience of his peers, you are setting him up to be a follower.
We need to train our children to learn how to seek affirmation from an audience of one; but that one is not “self” but rather “God”. The important and often missing step in the development of a healthy self-esteem is for the parent to take the baton and pass it off to the One who created the child in the first place. Children need to grow up knowing that they are unconditionally loved by God and that He knows the plans He has for them (Jeremiah 29:11). No matter what people say or do they need to grow up understanding a relationship with God… the One who loved them so much he paid the price for their relationship with Him.
This lesson is pivotal. Without it, children grow up at the mercy of peers and circumstances. Teach a child that God loves them, and has a plan for them, and they will grow up with a healthy self esteem.
I continually reminded my children that I am their dad, but He is their Father. And if God is for you who could possible be against you. That’s a healthy self-esteem, not what clothes you are wearing to school today!
Tomorrow: The ongoing process in developing the self-esteem.