Instilling Self Esteem in Children

Kids look to their parents to see who they are as new little people in this world. Their parent’s feelings, actions, and word greatly help to shape the way that that child views themselves. Ask yourself – What am I teaching my child?

Do your words build them up or tear them down?

Are they encouraging?

Are they loving?

Are they supportive?

Do you discipline when needed with a fair hand?

There are no black and white/right or wrong hard lines on parenting. No two parents are the same. There are some guidelines though that should be followed if you wish to raise a self-thinker with good self-esteem.

  1. Don’t coddle – By doing everything for them they cannot learn to be self-sufficient. It may be tempting to help them do things like solve puzzles or homework by doing it for them, but by doing that it teaches dependence on you and instills a feeling of “maybe I am not smart enough.”
  1. Don’t talk down to your kids – regardless of age, kids are far from stupid. Being condescended to feels bad and degrading as an adult and it is no different for a child. Speak to them at their level but like an equal.
  1. Let them answer for themselves – If someone asks “Oh, how old is Billy?” Even if they directed that question to you, turn it over to them. Look at your child and ask “She is asking you a question. How old are you?” – Unless they are very young, they know how old they are. They are proud to answer questions and know answers. Allow them to show off what they have learned.
  1. Teach them to stand up for themselves – Bullying has become an enormous problem in recent years, but what we need to accept is that it isn’t just the bullies who are at fault. While of course, you do not ever want to teach children that fighting is the answer to problems, teaching them that no one has the right to treat them badly and that it is perfectly ok to stand up and defend yourself is key. It instills a core belief of “I am worthy.”
  1. Teach them empathy and kindness towards others – being able to put yourself in another person’s shoes and show compassion is vital to being a good person who feels on a core level good about themselves. The best way to teach this, and possibly the only way to teach this, is to lead by example.

The child based programs at Monarch Wellness help boost self-esteem and teach kids interpersonal skills. To learn more please visit

Originally Posted:

Words are powerful

Words are powerful. When spoken with intention they can lift you up or crush your spirit. The problem is that many of us speak without thinking, especially in the heat of the moment, and unfortunately words that cannot be unsaid can last a lifetime.


The words of others have helped to shape who we are, how we think, how we view the world, and more importantly how we see ourselves. But what if the view we have been given isn’t accurate?

Often these embedded thoughts have been spoken through filters of other people’s views, projecting their insecurities, weaknesses and anger on to us.


One of the most powerful statements I have heard spoken is “Mean people hurt”.

It holds a double meaning and a vicious circle effect. Those who are angry towards others do hurt them through their words and actions, but they have also been hurt and are hurting or they would not feel the need to lash out.


Choosing to live consciously, pause and think before speaking and break that repetitive destructive cycle is the only way free.


This little story “The Fence” is one of the most poignant illustrations I have ever come across and I wanted to share it with you.


“There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the fence.


The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily, gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.


Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.


The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same.

When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one.” You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there. Make sure you control your temper the next time you are tempted to say something you will regret later.” – Author Unknown


Treat others as you yourself would like and expect to be treated. It will come back to you either way.


Originally Published: Alberta Street News – “Back on Track” Column, Sarah J. Barendse


A Non PC Look at Bullying

I am likely going to catch a lot of flak for this article, as I am jumping head first of the politically correct wagon here, but that’s ok. It needs to be said.

Having seen yet another picture pop up on the internet today of a very cute little 6 year old boy who is having his lunch money stolen and rocks thrown at him daily at school, I am so incredibly frustrated and disappointed with us as a nation.

 Bullying is becoming a bigger and bigger issue.

Why is that? My guess is that its directly related to the amount of coddling we are doing to these poor kids. We are raising a generation of wimps with low self esteem.

When most of us were kids, we walked to school, played in dirt, stayed out past dark, rode bikes to our friends houses miles away with no cell phones. We were trusted. Our parents, teachers, even strangers operated on the assumption that we had been raised right and knew right from wrong and had common sense. Yes, we were little. But we weren’t stupid.

These days?

Kids are doused in antibacterial soaps and gels killing their ability to fight germs off naturally.

Many schools have cut outdoor recesses all together – Yet they wonder why, during class, they can’t sit still? Ignoring restriction of movement they simply label them with ADD and ADHD suggest medication.
While yes, we needed permission slips if we were going out of town on a class trip, these kids need permission to get up and use the rest room and are not allowed to even walk to their own parents car, in some schools, without an escort holding their hand. 
Do we really believe these kids are so inept they cant identify their own parents car?

Kids are completely tracked these days as most of them have cell phones at a very early age. Yet parents have had their kids taken from them as “irresponsible parents” for allowing their kids to walk to a friends house only a few blocks away without an adult.

We place no trust in them. We treat them like they are incapable of logical rational common sense and…….. because of this? That is indeed what its coming down to. Kids who aren’t taught to think for themselves, and in fact praised and encouraged by our school systems not to, never learn life skills.

Coming from a place of “I need every decision made for me” is dis-empowering. You have literally taken away your child’s inner power and feeling of “I can”.

The result of this, is that when another child comes along, whatever issues they may have causing them to act out, who portrays themselves as more powerful, the dis-empowered child becomes frozen. They don’t know what to do. This is terrifying. Not simply because the other kid may be bigger or stronger, but because if you don’t stand in your own power, even as a child… you feel helpless.

So what’s the solution?

Stop treating kids like they are helpless stupid little creatures. They are not.
 Give them the opportunities to earn trust, figure things out for themselves, and explore the world without a god damn leash.

Let them know you are there for them, you love them, you believe in them, and you think they can do anything they set their minds to.

I will also add that these kids are not being intimidated in some far off bubble. It is usually done publicly. Teach your kids right from wrong. Talk to them about this issue. Ask them how they would feel if they were the target of it. Let them know that it is ok to step in and help another child if they look like they need help. Bullies feed on fear, its much harder to intimidate more than one child at a time.

I am highly in favor of taking kids to martial arts classes. It teaches discipline, is great exercise, burns off excess “kid energy”, and boosts confidence that IF someone comes along and tries to push you around, not that you have to fight, but that you don’t deserve that and you do not have to take it.

Dis-empowered bullied children grow up to be dis-empowered angry frustrated sad adults. (if they are lucky enough to grow up at all).

Is that really how we want a whole generation of kids to end up?