Sunday, June 22, 2014

Helping your children Gain a Healthy Self Worth

Growing up...especially going through school I noticed a number of different types of people. (Especially in school...we love to put people in categories). You had the druggies, the cowboys, the goody good kids, the good but cool kids, the popular kids...and on and on. There was a group or a stereotype for everyone. If we fell into a category that we liked or that meant others liked us...yay. I guess that means we are one of he lucky ones. Though many would assume we all want to be popular, there was one type of person that I truly admired in high school... and it wasn't cause they were "popular". It was the kids that actually provided one of the best and most genuine services I think you can at that age...(an into adulthood). It was those kids who had what I would call true self worth and confidence.
Let me just describe how this person would act. This person is kind and outreaching. They aren't shy or make them kind. They aren't kind so you'll vote them prom queen. No...these people are kind when it isn't popular...and when it is. They are genuine and mature. I think they come across as so put together because they know who they are regardless of the labels people give them. They act friendly and nice because they base their self worth off of their savoir and heavenly father. In a world where labels are constantly being thrown every which way and there is no shortage of judgement, it is extremely refreshing to see someone who doesn't care what others think and can maintain their confidence because it comes from a knowledge that they of extreme worth in the eyes of our Heavenly Father and that they are doing what he would have them do.
These people are consistent in their character and moral. They may reject what is popular to do what is right. And though it may seem like an oxymoron, even in high school, it seems to me that these people are very well liked. Of course they are well liked...they make you feel good about yourself when you are around them...because someone who is truly confident in themselves knows they are of worth and so are you. It is easy for them to make others feel good, because they don't have to put others down to build themselves up. They get their confidence from another source. They don't have to talk bad about the popular kids, because they get their confidence from another source. They can freely admit that someone else has done something good and wonderful because they know that someone else's achievements don't diminish their own self worth.
    I was not this person in high school. Not really even in college. I was super shy and worried too much about what other people thought of me. Even as an adult I worry about this too much. How does an adult gain a relationship with our savoir to outweigh and overcome the world...and then how do we teach our children this invaluable lesson?

One of the first things we need to do to gain this confidence is gaining a personal relationship with our Father in heaven.

"President Thomas S. Monson has taught: “Your Heavenly Father loves you—each of you. That love never changes. It is not influenced by your appearance, by your possessions, or by the amount of money you have in your bank account. It is not changed by your talents and abilities. … God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve love. It is simply always there” (“We Never Walk Alone,” Ensign, Nov. 2013, 123–24)."

May I add it is not changed by what judgments others may pass upon...whether that comes from your peers, your teacher, parent, boss, or anyone else.

Another quote from this article states:
Following the Lord’s ways allows you to receive eternal blessings and to have the Holy Ghost with you, which can help you feel good about yourself more deeply and consistently than anything the world has to offer.

Another thing we can do is to be grateful for the blessing we have. 

Elder Quentin L Cook sayid

“Comparing blessings is almost certain to drive out joy,” says Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “We cannot be grateful and envious at the same time. If we truly want to have the Spirit of the Lord and experience joy and happiness, we should rejoice in our blessings and be grateful” (“Rejoice!Ensign, Nov. 1996, 30).

Serving others...and focusing on their needs also brings about true self-worth
Here's another amazing quote from this talk:
Those who truly love themselves don’t rely on others’ attention and praise. They’re comfortable enough with their own worth that they can have good relationships with others and are able to serve them without ulterior motives. 

This article is also amazing: How to we define who we are?

So how as parents do we instill this self worth in our children.

From the February 2006 ensign it states

"It is important for parents (and leaders and teachers) to understand the powerful impact praise, acceptance, and encouragement have on a child’s sense of individual worth and confidence. Likewise, we need to be aware of how ridicule, rejection, and continual criticism can create personal doubt. Equally important, Latter-day Saint parents need to recognize how feeling Heavenly Father’s love, sensing the comfort and spiritual guidance that come with the Holy Ghost’s companionship, and gaining a personal testimony enhance a child’s sense of worth, personal confidence, and self-respect."

in this same talk it discusses a study that was done on high school students and the relationship between religious convictions and actions. 

They conclude that two things parents can do to benefit their children's self worth are "(1) strengthen the spiritual environment of the home, and (2) maintain a strong, loving relationship with each child."

The talk continues to explain how we can maintain a strong relationship with each child. I would highly recommend you read it. Helping children develop feelings of self worth.

Other great talks on this topic are:

We are children of God
Our true identity

So what does all this mean to me. I think what it means is in high school and in college I was recognizing the characteristics of someone who has a deep relationship with their Father in Heaven. I want to be able to foster the type of environment that allows my children to draw closer to their father in heaven so that they can make better decisions in life.

1 comment:

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