Self-love is a term that is often thrown around even in normal conversation. You have likely hear
“You need to love yourself more.”
“Why don’t you love yourself?”
“You can’t love someone else if you don’t love yourself first.”
Sayings like these are exhausting when it comes to giving people suggestions on ways to live a more fulfilling life, ways to have more confidence, ways to be more successful, or ways to feel something other than what they are feeling. The best way to deal with this is to start nice and early. How early? REALLY early.
Let’s work together in teaching the next generation that it is okay to love yourself and that they do not need to feel validated by anyone other than themselves. Start simply by explaining what self love is! Self-love is not simply a state of feeling good; it is an action. Self-love is a choice. It is a way of relating to yourself that involves being understanding of your mistakes, understanding of your losses, and being able to effectively communicate with yourself about life without harshly judging or punishing yourself.
Upping your toddlers self esteem is an amazing way to start the process.Toddlers are starting to develop an understanding of themselves, what they can do, and what makes them who they are. Here are ways you can build your toddler’s self-esteem:
1. Let your child decide between safe, toddler-friendly options, like which toy to play with, or whether to have jam or peanut-butter on their toast. This gives toddlers an exciting sense of control, which helps to develop confidence and a sense of self.
2. Give your child the chance to say ‘no’. Toddlers need to assert themselves and learn that decisions have consequences. For example, if your child says no when you ask them to put a jacket on, that’s OK. Getting cold won’t hurt them.
3. Let your child explore their environment, but be ready to respond if they need you! Don’t worry they will always need you.
4. Coach your child through tricky social situations. Toddlers might find it hard to share and take turns because they’re learning who they are and what’s theirs. So you can say, ‘It’s my turn to have the toy now. Great sharing – well done!’
Building up self esteem early will eventually lead to self love. So, What happens when a child is raised receiving the messages that they are in some way not good enough, not deserving, and possibly unlovable? Hatred evolves, problem solving becomes more of a challenge, and as a result anger takes over. Cue the tantrums!
But parents, it all starts with you…because you matter just as much. When you choose to set your standards for what you will believe in and for what is right and best for who you are, it allows you the freedom to pursue your happiness by what standards are really your own. Next thing you know, your toddler will follow in your amazing footsteps.
Self love for ALL!