In my last blog post, I shared my thoughts on how young people today have become disabled by their inability to cope. In fact, they can become insecure adults who are then unable to honor commitments and take responsibility. As a parent, you are not helpless. There are many ways you can help your child become a secure, confident, capable adult who contributes positively to society.
So, what can you do to help your child overcome his insecurity?
1. Help your child recognize the root of his insecurity. Help him acknowledge what the inner critical voices are telling him, and why. This will help him identify those negative voices whispering in his ear, by following the thread of his feelings back to their root.
2. Help your child challenge his negative dialogue. By disrupting the flow of your child’s negative internal voice, you are helping him overcome it. And by recognizing and identifying what that inner voice is saying, you can help your child separate from it, and look at it objectively. Then, and only then, can he integrate those voices back into himself, but this time with renewed acceptance, compassion, and self-respect. This step can rebuild self-esteem, and help your child overcome his insecurity.
3. Help your child keep a journal. This will connect him back to his history, and understanding that history allows him to accept and make peace with it.
4. Ask your child to write in his journal how his insights about his past make him feel. Then ask him to think about you, his parent, and how your self-critical talk has affected him. Note the areas of commonality.
5. Help your child be his own best friend. Teach him how to treat himself gently, and override the negative thoughts that emerge. Guide him to see these negative thoughts that are disrupting his sense of self.
6. Help your child recognize what creates his negative inner voices. Help him become aware of how his inner voices influence and dominate his sense of wellbeing, by causing free-floating anxiety and insecure behavior.
7. Help your child create a behavior modification model. This can help empower him to override the critical thoughts and feelings leading to his insecurity.
8. Resist the urge to become a helicopter parent. Praising your child unrealistically can foster low self-esteem and insecurity.
9. Become self-aware of the destructive outcome of abuse – whether physical or emotional. Remember, an abused child has problems, not only with insecurity, but also, with trust and intimacy.
10. If necessary, get psychological help and therapy for your child.
Change always starts with yourself. Maintain a constructive and positive attitude by viewing yourself and your child clearly. Help your child through empathy and acceptance. Find what is realistically special about him and encourage his gifts. Let your child find interests that inspire him, and let him test himself against his environment by trying out new things. Compliment sincerely his effort, rather than the outcome. And don’t indulge in negative directives, but rather, teach your child compassion and good self-esteem.