Small babies can read body language and they respond to tone of voice, so if you get angry because they’re crying, they will be negatively affected. Remain calm and speak in a kind, soothing voice. Even tiny babies read your facial expressions and tone of voice. Your body language and the words you use has a huge impact on your child’s self-esteem. Self-esteem refers to what they believe about themselves. A child with low self-esteem unconsciously believes that they are not good enough. Don’t be the reason your child holds this belief. Build their self-esteem through praising accomplishments (even small ones), loving comments (“I love you” and “you are so special”), smiles, tenderness (hugs, kisses, holding your child close or on your lap) and uplifting statements (“Wow, you did that so well!”)

Don’t say demeaning things to your child. Don’t use comments like: “You are so stupid!” or “You are the naughtiest child!” Children believe what you say about them and when you say it enough, they will become what you accuse them of. Also, don’t tell them that they do stupid things. Such loaded statements affect children badly. Don’t shout. Don’t hit.

Manage your own emotions and speak kindly – even when you have to correct their behaviour. A child will listen and buy into what you’re saying when you are kind and explain why you say something. Let them understand the reason why you say no or ask them to do something. When you speak in anger and a raised voice they are filled with fear and you will lose their trust and eventually their respect.

Please feel free to contact me at any time for advice.

Elsabé Manning

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