“I am having trouble playing with my figurines Mommy? Did you and uncle have trouble playing with your toys growing up?”
It both broke my heart and filled it with wonder that Michael was making this effort to try and play on his own properly with his toys. I know it is hard for him. He has a great imagination, but not for the things that require playing pretend. I knew I had to encourage his effort though. I have heard over the years from professionals how Michael’s self-esteem is on the low side, and he is too hard on himself. Time to remind him of what his strengths are.
“Honey, it’s ok that you find it difficult to play with your figurines. Your uncle and I did not cook full meals at your age, have your navigation skills, and we did not do clay artwork. Those are some pretty amazing talents.”
“Really Mommy? Yeah. I guess it’s true.” His face immediately brightened. I felt good that I was able to remind Michael of his many strengths. Kids who are exceptional often struggle more with self-esteem than other kids their age. It’s up to parents to help them learn to love themselves, inside and out.
In that vein, here are 5 ways parents can help build their kids’ self-esteem:
- Praise what they can do: No one can do everything, but all kids have a talent or two doing things they really enjoy.
- Spend time having fun with them: It’s so important to spend time with your children. Have fun doing things they are good at and enjoy.
- Encourage them to try new things: It’s important to always try new things. Only by doing that, will they be able to eliminate what they are good at and what they struggle with.
- Talk about your failures: Talk about your failures, and don’t be afraid to tell your exceptional children how you coped with them.
- Help them learn from their failures: It’s so important that kids learn that we all fail sometimes, big and little kids. It’s what we learn from these mistakes that makes or breaks us
Exceptional Parents, how do you build your Exceptional Child’s confidence? The most important thing to do is just be there for them. Help them recognize the gifts they can offer to the world by just being them. In time, this will help them love themselves for who they are. Until next time.
I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with autism and type 1 diabetes is raising me to a better human being and exceptional mom. My mission is to empower other exceptional parents to trust in their parenting instinct while letting their exceptional child open their eyes to all that is possible! For more information on my coaching services and to download a copy of my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.