Class member: I think it’s the way you perceive yourself. High self esteem is confident. Low self esteem you are nit picky you find what you do bad rather than what you do good.
Class member: I think it’s how the world sees you. To the world one of my Miamaids is very shy, but I know that she knows she is a child of God. I have another one that is very open, but I’m not sure she knows who she is.
Class member: I think it’s knowing you are child of God really deep. Not just an outward appearance.
Class member: I think when you have a low self esteem you tear others down to make you look good.
Class member: My daughter is yellow and I feel now she is struggling in math, but now she thinks she is dumb. I think it’s how you perceive yourself.
Do you agree it’s a hot topic? Yes.
Do you agree kids talk and feel and discuss it? Yes…about others, but not their self.
Class member: I was just thinking now it’s almost a bigger issue because of social media. She feels pressured to post on Instagram…she can’t post too much, too little, a clever caption. It’s about how others will perceive that post. It’s harder for them because they feel the necessity to put themselves out in the limelight.
As I look through Facebook and check my extended family, I have noticed she is always posting selfies. I think she is very conscious of how many likes there are and how many friends. I was talking to a teenager once that wanted to have her “friends” number high. That is important to these kids. They are watching to see what they are bringing in and who is watching.
Class member: I think they compare their self worth on the likes. I think it hurts their self esteem.
That becomes this ‘electronic stuff’. It’s the ‘am I popular enough’ to have others posting.
The world sends out a false value system. As adults not being in competition out there anymore we are looking at life different than they are. This is their real world. Their self esteem is not necessarily based on truth. It’s based on their perception of truth. You may know truth and tell it to them, but what they are taking in is based on their perception.
Example…When my daughter was in high school she came home from volleyball she said I am so fat.
What is the quickest reply a mother can make….”You are not!” As soon as you say that you think you are boosting their self esteem, but it closes the door.
I didn’t say that in this experience. I said, “What happened today?” She loathed wearing those briefs for volleyball. She couldn’t stand them. It came out as “I’m fat”.
It’s interesting when they send out messages of value, they are saying something to us that we may or may not be hearing.
The world says you have value if….
1. Beautiful/handsome (Looks)
In movies the hero is always beautiful, handsome, charming. The villain is ugly. It’s what the look is.
Those that dress nice, drive a nice car. Some of your teenagers won’t want to bring people to your home because they think their house isn’t as nice. They are ashamed of how their parents dress.
In the real-world these are what have value. If they don’t have these things and they are in that world all the time they think I don’t have as much to give. I’m not of value. It’s a false sense, but it is very, very real to them.
What we have to decide is how do we counter that? We can’t make it go away, but how do we counter it?
When you have intentional parenting you want to do you need to think of what ‘principle’ solves this problem? I like to identify the principle. If you were looking at self esteem and you wanted to intentionally parent to that, what principle would you use? Divine Nature & Pride.
Ezra Taft Benson “Beware of Pride”
If you teach those 2 things well they should develop a good sense of self esteem. If you want to raise a child in a home where self esteem is high, think about your parenting style and listen to this….
If a child is raised with endless correction your child will believe that it doesn’t matter what he does he can’t do it right or well. He comes to believe that he can never do it well enough.
If a child is raised with permissiveness your child will just grow up being self focused, entitled, greedy, and lazy.
If a child is raised with encouragement, with positive discipline, the parent believes in the child and holds them accountable, then the child will grow up feeling like they are of great worth and that they can do it. It doesn’t mean they wanted to do it in the beginning, but they can see it at the end.
Class member: I’m doing these college classes for my kids…Bedmaking 101…then they get a graduation prize for it. My son gets overwhelmed (he is 5) he says, “It’s too hard.” He relaxed when I helped him make it more fun than work. I said, “Look at what you did. You made a beautiful cake.”
It’s holding them accountable for what they have done and can do.
Every night after dinner she runs in to put her pajamas on by her self. There is a time to step back and let them do it.
The single most important element is the self esteem of the mother. (This is birth to 8 and how he perceives how the mother feels). If the child feels like you don’t think he is capable of doing it. If they feel like you think they can they start believing that they can. That is based on what mother’s self esteem is.
If she had a low self esteem she says, maybe I am being too hard on you, maybe it’s that self doubt you have on yourself.
95% of children will not rise above mother’s self esteem.
Class member: If your cup is empty what are you going to have to offer to them.
President Joseph F. Smith
“Upon you depend the training and direction of the thoughts and inspiration of the heart of your children.”
What role does Dad play?
The number one problem we have is fatherless homes. The father is critical in the self esteem of the children as they hit 5+ their interaction with Dad is critical in their developing sexual identity. Boys are boys…girls are girls. Dad’s teach girls to be feminine. Dad’s teach boys how to be Dad’s and fathers. In teen years the Dad’s role is critical. You have to not just go to the sports activities that you love and the music activities you tolerate. The answer for all of us is to watch your children perform. You say…”I loved watching you play basketball tonight.” Do not at the BUT….I loved watching you play basketball tonight, BUT you should have worked on your defense.
As they begin to feel like they are heros you enjoy being there with them. That raises their self esteem.
Class member: I know how important it is that their physical appearance doesn’t matter, but my husband made a comment about her eyebrows. I wanted to smack him. I don’t know how to gear my husband to not focus on their physical appearance.
Do you see when we are talking about the world says beauty is self esteem. Parents are saying I don’t want you to be embarrassed. Can you see how she is going to perceive that? She is going to think you think I’m ugly. Take him aside and have a chat with him. They don’t even understand the power they have over their daughters.
Class member: I have a hard time finding the balance between combing their hair and wearing matching clothes.
Most of that teaching is based on the words you use. If we are teaching to divinity we clean it often (the temple), your body is a gift. Teach to the doctrine. Instead of saying your hair is greasy. It’s not always what you think you are teaching to. Be willing to say, “Would you like a different style? How would you like to wear your hair?”
Class member: Even missionaries have a dress standard.
Don’t buy the guilt.
“Last week I cried all through your class and all the way. I realized that I sent my 6 year old to school bankrupt. Why does it take you 45 minutes to empty the dishwasher? You know what time you leave why can’t you your shoes on? How can she know she is divine if her mother is talking like this. She was excited to see me. I apologized when she got home. This required a lot of help and support from Heavenly Father. She said I rock. I got my room clean before you told me.”
Encouragement rather than correct help build self esteem.
There are 4 feelings that go to building good self esteem.
1. You need to have a sense of identification. It involves the feeling in answering who am I? what am I? It goes with their labels they give themselves. This is their personal identification. Don’t label your children…even when you are talking on the phone. It becomes part of their identity and who they think they are. This is one of those things the child gets from Mom. This is what I perceive is being reflected to Mom. You can label positively as long as it is not superlatives. You should say…I like the way you enjoy reading. Not you are a reader.
2. The sense of belonging. This is them feeling like they are wanted, loved, accepted, and enjoyed.
3. A sense of worthiness. This is the part of being accepted by others and approved of by yourself. If you ask someone a question and go off and don’t listen to the answer do they feel like their contribution is valid.
4. A sense of control. This is based on feelings of competence and the ability to reach goals. They need the sense of being able to face problems. We teach them to do hard things and problem solve.
Ezra Taft Benson (April 1989) “Beware of Pride”---I think this should be read every month. It needs to be regularly. This is critical.
Pride is the universal sin, the great vice. Yes, pride is the universal sin, the great vice.
Screwtape is a devil. Wormwood it teaching screwtape how to be a devil. The first time you read it the father is the devil and the devil is actually Heavenly Father. The insights of how Satan gets into our hearts has a lot of insights.
In the words of C. S. Lewis: (Screwtape Letters) “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. … It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.”
Pride is based on comparison. What makes you feel bad? Someone who sings better than you, can teach better than you, has better kids that you. When we start comparing you will always lose. If we put our children in competition with one another you will have a winner and a loser. False self esteem is being above others.
Pride is two levels. There are those who think they are on top looking down at others. There are others who are on the bottom and see our selves not as good as someone and everyone else is better. They are both pride.
When we only look at our weaknesses we are in pride from the bottom looking up.
Pride---back biting, comparison, criticism, fault finding, living beyond your means, coveting
“The proud depend upon the world to tell them whether they have value or not. Their self-esteem is determined by where they are judged to be on the ladders of worldly success. They feel worthwhile as individuals if the numbers beneath them in achievement, talent, beauty, or intellect are large enough. Pride is ugly. It says, “If you succeed, I am a failure.
If we love God, do His will, and fear His judgment more than men’s, we will have self-esteem.”
Homework: Read and study the syllabus chart.
“In many ways earthly parents represent their Heavenly Father in the process of nurturing, loving, caring, and teaching children. Children naturally look to their parents to learn of the characteristics of their Heavenly Father. After they come to love, respect, and have confidence in their earthly parents, they often unknowingly develop the same feelings towards their Heavenly Father.” How Will Our Children Remember Us? By Robert D. Hales October 1993
We feel like if we are not perfect we are not good enough.
Steps to Instilling Positive Self Esteem:
This is the “How-to” of helping this divinity in a mortal sphere be developed.
1. You need to examine your own self esteem. Most of you need to evaluate it and look at where it’s at. I want you know you are ok right where you are. You don’t have to be perfect. Heavenly Father doesn’t expect us to be perfect right now. As you read this it will be interesting for you to see what self esteem is. Do you have courage enough to learn something brand new? It’s something out of your comfort zone? Are you open to new ideas? Do you laugh? Are you happy? Do you express happy? How often do you see someone new in church and you walk right past them? That is less self esteem on your part. Can you make friends? You need to be interested in people.
David O McKay…“There is a responsibility that no man can evade. That is the responsibility of personal influence ... Every man (& woman) has an atmosphere or a radiation that is affecting every person in the world. You cannot escape it ... It is simply the constant radiation of what a man (or woman) really is. Every man (& woman) by his mere living is radiating positive or negative qualities. Life is a state of radiation. To exist is to be the radiation of our feelings, natures, doubts, schemes, or to be the recipient of those things from somebody else. You cannot escape it. Man (& woman) cannot escape for one moment the radiation of his (or her) character. You will select the qualities that you will permit to be radiated.”
Go over the list in the syllabus with an honest heart!
2. Help your children discover who they really are. Did you notice this didn’t say tell your children who they really are? Having FHE on “I Am a Child of God.” That is great principle, but it doesn’t put it in them. It’s knowledge. You have to do this individually. This should be children + spouse. What do you do to help them discover? You help unfold them rather than mould them. They come to earth with divinity and attributes that are fabulous. Your children don’t come knowing who they are. You have to give them experiences to unfold them.
Class member: I bought a card game of just questions so when we are sitting there we ask questions. They were open ended questions. I think it’s called “Talk Time”. We have a version in our car. We don’t criticize. It’s amazing if Mom closes her mouth and let it happen. It’s from Toy Town off Eagle.
I think each child needs to have in their bedroom a picture of the temple. They need to each have a picture of the temple. They need a mirror. They need to be familiar with what is in the mirror. This is not vanity. It can become that, but not to begin with. I think they need a picture of them doing something well.
I had a hall of fame with all different sizes pictures and different frames. I put on there photographs of them playing in a sport, singing, regular life being successful. Every person that came in the house walked down that hall.
They need to have a picture of the Savior.
All of your children and you came to earth with spiritual gifts. We brought with us some gifts, but we also came to gain some. The gifts are not all the same. Some are very visual….singing music, good grades…some are not visual.
HOMEWORK: Take each child and make a list and what you feel are spiritual gifts that individuals have brought to earth with them. If they are old enough to receive a patriarchal blessing they have been instructed in include them. You need to write down a minimum of 3 spiritual gifts you have.
We tell our children they are divine, but they don’t have anything that connects them to that. Your job as a parent is to connect gospel dots because they don’t know how to do it. If you want to teach “I am a child of God and you are divine” then you need to connect you have been given “these spiritual gifts” and now you can use them.
There are some in Doctrine and Covenant 46
Marvin J. Ashton November 1987 “There Are Many Gifts”
- To care for others
- To be calm
- Asking good questions
- Listening with real intent
- Being able to weep with others
- Avoid contention
- Being agreeable
- Avoiding vain repetitions in prayer
- Seeking that which is righteous
- Not passing judgment
- Looking to God for guidance
- Being a disciple
- Offering prayers
- Bearing testimony
- Receive and recognize the Holy Ghost in your life
3. Establish a root system. Get them involved in Family Search, Family History, Going to the temple. Add stories to Family Search of relatives they know who are living. They are recording experiences they have had with living relatives. They can add a picture. This makes them connected. It is fabulous! We have had the youth giving talks on their Family Search. As they share stories of their ancestors they have learned. It makes them feel proud of where they came from.
4. Fall in love with your children. There is a list in the syllabus of things you can do to fall in love with them.
5. Focus on giving your children many, many, many positive affirmations. Look for the good in them! Be focused on that. Be careful how you say it. They should feel like you feel there is more good in them than stuff they do wrong. You have to encourage more than you criticize. They need to feel like you believe in them. You must allow them learn the process of problem solving. Don’t rescue them! Don’t hover! Don’t fix! Their self esteem comes from them finding answers to their own problems. They need to learn to act for themselves. For them to know you trust them and have faith in them you allow them to find answers. You might have to hold your tongue while they think.
6. Positive Discipline.
7. Eliminate self-gratification. Teach them how to work hard…way past comfort.
8. Turn off the TV and unplug from all electronics. Their self esteem rises as they interact with people.
9. Eliminate competition and create an environment of safety. Safety is created when they feel like what they have to say is important and you will listen to it. It needs to be respected.
10. Teach them to think and serve others.
Reader’s Digest….IQ test…they evaluate 8 different things. There are over 120 qualities they can test for in talents. In this list everyone would be a genius in at least one thing and a moron in one and a couple that they were just good at.
HOMEWORK: Find your area of expertise.
Areas of talents….
- Creativity---in making things and also problem solving.
- Communication—ability to seek to listen to understand. Speaking. Teaching.
- Forecasting—ability to take a situation now and see what the consequence is later. Tying events to results later
- Decision making
We have the problem of seeing ourselves as the sum of our weaknesses. We need to see ourselves as our strengths and how to serve with them.
The Pearl Necklace
The cheerful girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them: a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box. "Oh please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please?"
Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl's upturned face. "A dollar ninety-five. That's almost $2.00. If you really want them, I'll think of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself. Your birthday's only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma."
As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbor and asked Mrs. McJames if she could pick dandelions for ten cents. On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace.
Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere - Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green.
Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story. One night when he finished the story, he asked Jenny, "Do you love me?"
"Oh yes, Daddy. You know that I love you."
"Then give me your pearls."
"Oh, Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess - the white horse from my collection. The one with the pink tail. Remember, Daddy? The one you gave me. She's my favorite."
"That's okay, Honey. Daddy loves you. Good night." And he brushed her cheek with a kiss."
About a week later, after the story time, Jenny's daddy asked again, "Do you love me?"
"Daddy, you know I love you."
"Then give me your pearls."
"Oh Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my baby doll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She is so beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper."
"That's okay. Sleep well. God bless you, little one. Daddy loves you" And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.
A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek.
"What is it, Jenny? What's the matter?"
Jenny didn't say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver, she finally said, "Here, Daddy. It's for you." With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny's kind daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime-store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny. He had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her the genuine treasure.
So it is with our Heavenly Father. He is waiting for us to give up the cheap things in our lives so that he can give us beautiful treasure. Isn't God good? Are you holding onto things which God wants you to let go of. Are you holding on to harmful or unnecessary partners, relationships, habits and activities which you have come so attached to that it seems impossible to let go? Sometimes it is so hard to see what is in the other hand but do believe this one thing.................. God will never take away something without giving you something better in its place.
Heavenly Father is waiting for you to give up your dime store image so he can give you the real one he has for you.