Parents: Feeling Good About Yourself

  • Build self-esteem. Self-esteem is the feeling you have inside that says you are a good person. Part of your job as a parent is to build your child's self-esteem. You help her to feel safe, secure, loved, and understood.
  • What about you? What can you do that will help you feel safe, secure, loved, and understood too?
  • Be good to yourself. When you take care of yourself, you show your child that you deserve respect. Your child will learn to respect herself too. Try to do something nice for yourself every day. You deserve it.
  • Connect with your cultural traditions. Talk to your child about things in your culture that are very important to you, like values, beliefs, traditions, and practices.
  • You do not have to give up your cultural beliefs just because they are different from the people around you. Your child needs to know where he came from, as well as where he is today.
  • Trust your judgment. There will always be people who think that the way you are being a parent is wrong. The important thing is what do YOU think? Ask for advice from people you like and trust. Ignore the others.
  • Expect others to respect you. A child learns how to behave by watching how her parents treat each other. If parents respect each other, then their child will learn to respect others.

Key Message
Don't worry about being perfect. Feel good about doing your best.

Fun & Easy Activities

Cook a Family Recipe

Do you remember special foods that you ate when you were growing up? Did you eat certain dishes at special times of the year? Share your memories with your child and make the special dishes with him. Even young children can help you cook. If you measure the ingredient, they can pour it into a bowl. Older children are strong enough to stir.

While you are making the recipe together, talk about your childhood memories. Enjoy eating your special dish together.

Make sure your child is safe while you are cooking. He may be safest sitting in his high chair. He will be up at your level. Keep him away from sharp utensils and hot surfaces.

Give Yourself a Compliment

After your child has gone to bed, take a moment to think about something you did well with your child during the day.

Write a few words in a notebook about your success. Read your notebook when you want to feel good about being a parent. Your notes will remind you of all the things you're doing well.

Good Time Nuggets

When you are putting your child to bed, ask her to think of three good things that happened during the day. Encourage her to think of small things. Did she like what she had for lunch? Did she enjoy playing with a friend? Did she have fun making a snowman with you? You can add your own happy times too.

If you want, write a few words about each happy time on a piece of paper. Fold the papers up and put them in a box. You and your child can decorate the box with ribbons and coloured paper. If your child says, "Nothing good ever happens to me!" pull some papers out of the box and read the good time nuggets.

Before long, positive thinking will become a habit for both you and your child.


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Organization: Public Health Agency of Canada

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