S for Self-esteem

How can you improve your child’s self-esteem?

We want our children to have a higher self-esteem. To believe in themselves. Self-esteem keeps children secure in themselves so others can’t upset them. 

SO I'm 53 now and for a lot of my 40s, a lot of my late 30s and early 40s I was trying to improve myself, I was trying to improve my self-esteem, I was trying to believe in myself more. I was in trying to improve my self-confidence. Yeah. So this whole thing is, yeah, it's become a thing we want to improve. We'll want to improve the sort of self-development stuff around there. 

And as parents you tell me that you want to improve your children's self-esteem. And I totally get that. And I spent many years trying to do that. Obviously, you're trying to do it for your kids. So maybe some areas that you want to do a better job of that, we all want a better life for our kids than we had ourselves.

Often we see self-esteem as part of that. Now I find it, as I say, I found it quite tricky, and quite, you know, tiring and quite fruitless really because it just seemed like a tough job. And then one of my mentors said to me, what is this self that you're trying to improve? And what was this self that you're trying to be more self-confident in? And it seems kind of obvious, what the self well what do you mean? It’s me, it's who I am. And then she helped me realise that what I thought the self was a misunderstanding about what that self is. 

And it was, really looking back on it, you know we hear this word ‘ego’. So my self- I was really actually was trying to improve my ego. Right. So I'm concerned that this is slightly getting a little bit too woo-woo, a little bit too hard to understand, right? 

So let me take it right back down to down to tacks, to basics. The essence of who we truly are. And that seems like a really big question, but it actually is a lot simpler than we are led to believe. So, think of the time, take you take yourself back in time to the first time that you saw your child. Okay. So what did you say, how did you feel? 

You know, a lot of mums tell me about being overcome with a wave of love, an outpouring of love, an outpouring of emotions, as well as, you know, the relief of the pain of childbirth being over. This outpouring of love and they felt in love. They saw their own flesh and blood for the first time and they felt love and what they saw was perfection. They saw perfection. And the metaphor that I use for this is the metaphor of the diamond. Yeah. So this isn't actually a real diamond, would be worth millions and millions of pounds. And this is a glass diamond. What they saw was perfection. What they saw was perfection. And when I say things like this, well, it's hard to live up to perfection. And you know, I'm a perfectionist. I totally get it right. I'm a recovering perfectionist in some ways. So I was in children's educational publishing, I was in publishing materials for classrooms for kids. We did 5 million copies of Roald Dahl’s Guide To Railway Safety. And five million had a little spelling mistake in them. And the text said wash you hands rather than wash your hands. Thankfully nobody ever spotted it. And because I was always looking for what was wrong in publishing, so I was looking for mistakes. I didn't spot that mistake, but I was a perfectionist, I was looking to create perfect publications right. So I know what that perfection means from that level and that our deeper level, our perfection is in ourselves now. 

Your child- a baby when it's born. You saw perfection and here's the other thing – that’s what your parents, your mum or your dad or both of them, that's what they saw in you too, they saw perfection. 

That diamond does not need to be improved. It does not need higher self-esteem. It does not need self-confidence. When you saw your baby for the first time, you did not think I need to send that on a self-development course. Get it - that is who we truly are. That is who we truly are, not the self. The self is the rubbish that we pick up from around from us, the conditioning, you know, the teacher that tells us at school that we're not good enough or the bullies that upset me by saying that I was ugly and stupid. And you know I had buck teeth and I was rubbish on scout camp and all that. All that kind of rubbish or that muck or that, you know, all that manure, if I use a positive- a PC word for that manure. The rubbish that you went through in life, the Sh1t that happens, kind of obscures the diamond, it gets in the way of the diamond, but it doesn't change who we truly are. So, self-esteem, the way to self-esteem is to see the diamond, not to try and improve it.