Saturday, May 8, 2010

Loss of Self-Esteem

Another effect of divorce on children is a loss of self-esteem. A loss of self-esteem is a loss of confidence in one's value. Children feel powerless because their world is falling apart and they feel incapable of keeping things together.

Parents can help rebuild the loss of self-esteem by giving children back some of their power. Building self-esteem can be accomplished through giving children choices and allowing them to make their own decisions when applicable. This can be as simple as allowing a preschooler to choose his or her own clothes, permitting an elementary-age child to select what the family will eat for dinner, and allowing a teen to choose an appropriate bedtime. Start with easy decisions and gradually increase the importance of the decisions as the child grows and matures.

Linda Jacobs says, "You may not be able to bring the other parent home, but you can help the children realize they have a choice to love both parents. They have a choice to love and honor God. When children have some control over their lives, they will feel better about themselves. You will feel better about yourself as a parent when you realize your children are becoming independent."

Continue to build up their self-worth by loving them unconditionally, helping them understand they can't be perfect at everything, teaching them to accept the disappointments, and teaching them to accept themselves for who they are. In God's eyes, your child is beautiful and special and wonderfully made.

"It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special" (1 Thessalonians 1:4 Msg).

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