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3 Parenting Skills - Building Character with Self Esteem and Competence

By Jean Tracy, MSS

Does your child know how to do the simple things? Does he know how to appropriately take care of himself. Or is he too dependent on you? Inside you find 3 ways to help him build character, self esteem, and become competent too.

“Self-reliance is the only road to true freedom, and being one's own person is its ultimate reward” ~ Patricia Sampson

A self-reliant child is a competent child. You can teach competence by your example, specific activities, and fun discussions.

First Parenting Skill for Character, Self Esteem, and Competence:

Be a model for learning new skills. It doesn't matter if it's solving a jigsaw puzzle, trying a new dinner recipe, or fixing the kitchen sink. Invite your child to be with you. Talk to him about what you're doing. Ask him to help you. He'll love being near you. He'll learn new skills too. Modeling by example helps you become the teacher and your child become the winner.

Second Parenting Skill for Character, Self Esteem, and Competence:

Teach your child specific activities according to her age level. It could be catching a ball, learning to read, or making her bed. Keep teaching the skills that make her self-reliant.

She'll be a leader if you show her how to be a "can do" person. Instead of saying, "I can't, I don't know how," she'll be able to tell her friends, "Let me help you." Friends will appreciate her competence.

Third Parenting Skill for Character, Self-Esteem, and Competence:


Ask your child for her opinion. I remember asking my 10-year-old son, Brian, "What color do you think our new carpet should be?" He thought about it and picked out a beautiful blue. I agreed. When Brian looked back on his childhood, he remembered choosing the carpet color. He knew then that I valued his opinion. "It was a great confidence builder," he said.

Discussing opinions with your child and valuing your child's input is easy to do. Discussions can be about moral dilemmas, what to have for a special dinner, or what he thinks about different TV programs. You can build your child's thinking skills and self-esteem with good discussions. Avoid being critical. Give him the freedom to tell you what he really thinks.

Parenting Skills Conclusion:

Teach your child real freedom. Teach your child to be self-reliant. He'll experience self esteem and competence. Others will enjoy his leadership. His opinions will count with them because they counted with you. His character will be shaped by the skills you teach him.



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