1) A sense of ACCEPTANCE by the important adults in the child's life.2) A sense of POWER & CONTROL over his/her own body, environment, and relationships.3) A sense of MORAL VIRTUE- that he/she feels him/herself to be a good worthy person.4) A sense of COMPETENCE that he/she is capable, can accomplish, can achieve and can do or manage tasks and reach worthwhile goals.
POSITIVE- "That's great you're trying to put on your own shoes. Let's see how you do. Way to go!" There is acceptance and encouragement without any potential negative judgements. Attempts at power & control and competence are being supported. self-acceptance- moral virtue is being encouraged.NEGATIVE- "You can't do that. I gonna have to do it anyway. Why are you taking so long? What's wrong with you?" Here is non-acceptance, discouraging attempts at power & control and competence. Implied is that something is wrong with the child- his/her moral virtue is attacked.
self-conceptions: beliefs, concepts, expectations, attitudes, temperament manifest themselves in...
behavior: which happens in the environment-family, school, community, which leads to...
feedback from adults: about being good or bad, which leads back to...
- Support the child when he/she has fears, insecurities, and doubts; this is not the same as supporting fears, insecurities, and doubts.
- Acknowledge, validate him/her...."you feel scared, huh?", "I understand..it's hard isn't it?", "It doesn't feel good does it?"
- Do not minimize or try to undo the bad feelings by explaining why he/she doesn't need to feel scared, or why there "really" isn't any danger, or telling him/her that they are or will be OK (this can be taken as they should be OK). Doing this invalidates the child just as much as calling him/her a "baby", or "silly", "stupid", and so forth. When we try to explain away the child's bad feelings, it doesn't work; we get frustrated at the lack of reason; the lack of reception we are getting from them. There arises an imagined lack of respect, deference, listening, which cause us to then we feel our sense of inadequacy, impotency, insecurity, and ignorance. This, in turn, is frightening (especially since we have been trying to avoid these feelings).
- Let your child be a child. And, every child can mess up...without being a messup. A messup is hopeless; messing up is curable or transitory.
- Connect first, then lead the child to his/her strength or his/her security through your strength.