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Self-love is an important concept that should be instilled in children during their growing years. Self-love is learning to accept that our weaknesses are a part of who we are, but also to work on them in order to grow. It’s also about learning to love every aspect of ourselves and prioritising our needs over pleasing others. It should be instilled in our children before they reach adulthood, so that feeling confident about themselves becomes second nature.

So, parents, here’s how to teach your children to truly love themselves.

1). Make them feel important

Nothing improves your children’s self-esteem more than knowing they are valued and appreciated. Make them feel important by involving them in day-to-day activities. Making decisions, accompanying them on grocery runs, or even allowing them to assist you with your work will ensure that their presence and thoughts are valued. They will want to come forward willingly in the future to face challenges and believe that they can overcome them.

2). Compliment them the right way

How often do compliment your children on their looks or physical attributes by saying, “Aww, you’re such a pretty girl!” or “Wow, you’re such a strong boy!” It’s something we’ve all done. Giving children such superficial compliments has the potential to do more harm than good to their sense of self-worth. You can do more for your child’s self-esteem than you can imagine by praising their efforts rather than their accomplishments and complimenting their intelligence. Compliments are extremely important in the lives of children. They serve as a reward and reassure the individual regarding behaviours that are commendable and appropriate. Therefore, do compliment them, but make an effort to do it in the appropriate manner.

3). Ask them how they feel about themselves

Sometimes children need to be nudged to look within themselves and determine how they feel about their accomplishments and setbacks. Ask questions such as, “How do you feel about winning that game?” This will reinforce the notion that feeling good comes from within rather than from the approval of others. It provides a channel for them to express their emotions. As they express themselves more, they will feel more connected to themselves and to you. Show them how to treat themselves to something they enjoy for no particular reason. Exercise self-reflection with them for a check-in on what ticks. This is how they will learn to care for their mental health in the future.

In conclusion, self-love is important in many aspects of life, including relationships, mental health, confidence, setting boundaries and so much more. It’s a must-have habit that leads to a better quality of life. However, keep in mind that not all children develop at the same rate or in the same manner. Pay close attention to your child’s needs because you are the most familiar with them. Take note of how they perceive themselves when they tell you about their day or their time with friends. Being as involved as possible in their growing years, or even beyond in tweens and teens, can help troubleshoot any roadblocks to self-love. Also, remember that you are your children’s role model. You have a huge influence on how they think. Setting a good example for them requires you to learn to love yourself.