Kids are very innocent and delicate and need to be treated very diligently. Sometimes to keep up with the competitive environment, we as parents end up shaming our kids knowingly or unknowingly. This in turn might make the kids low on self esteem. Unknowingly we are deterring their confidence.
First of all, let’s discuss what is SHAMING? In general language, it’s an embarrassing remark or comment passed to put a person down. Sometimes we find it as an easy option to shame them so that they behave or become better but in-depth we are tearing down their trust, making them low on self esteem and inculcating a negative emotion in them.
Sometimes we mistake shaming as constructive criticism as in when we say “look and learn from your brother, he learns so fast and you are always slow.” The intention behind this statement might be to inspire the kids to be better but by saying this we destroy 2 things:
- His feelings towards his brother worsens as he might start seeing as competitor.
- He becomes low on self esteem and start thinking that he is too slow and you are unhappy with him.
Rather than motivating them, we end up making them feel less capable by doing so.
We have to understand and accept that just like the sun and the moon shine at different times in the same way every kid is different and has their own set of potentials and time to shine. Kids might start feeling down by hearing such remarks.
I always believe one should sit and spend healthy discussion time with kids by explaining to them where they are going wrong. Communication, if done in a perfect manner, can bridge up all the gaps.
How kids become low on self esteem?
1. Discourages problem solving
We all learn after regular efforts and mistakes then why do we want our kids to be perfect in one go. Give them time to commit errors and make learning out of it, instead of discouraging them by making them feel incapable. Else, you will not only be making them low on self esteem but also deter their problem-solving skills.
2. Loss of empathy
Kids who are shamed again and again become harsh in their behaviour and lose feelings of empathy for others. They become self-centred too.
3. Lack of Independence
We all want to make kids independent but at the same time, we poke our remarks in each activity they do. In order to make kids independent, it’s important to let them be the way they are. Always encourage them by permitting them to make their own decisions rather than deciding all on their behalf.
4. Encourages Hiding Habits
When kids realize they will be unduly criticized for their actions they start hiding the same from us and it can lead to more conflicts.
How to we deal with this?
1. Choose words wisely
Always choose your words wisely before remarking on their deeds. They look upon us for encouragement and motivation and not negative words. Instead of bringing them down, the same can be communicated wisely.
2. Never tell them not to cry
Always let them show their emotions, whether good or bad. When you say to a boy that boys don’t cry you are doing two-way damage. Firstly, lowering the image of girls in their eyes stating that they have a crying habit, and secondly suppressing their own emotions which might create a mishappening later.
3. Behave well in public
Never criticize your kids in public. It really hurts their feelings and also reduces the respect they have for parents. You can always explain things in person and make them understand what was wrong in their deed.
4. Be an example for them
Always be the person you want your kid to be. Kids are great imitators and they learn the most from us. So, be someone whom they look upon as a role model.
Let’s make this world a better place for our little ones.
By Nikita Choudhury
Winner of Top Mom Bloggers contests conducted by The Champa Tree. She is an influencer with the Instagram page Growing again with your child. Her article, ‘How Shaming Your Kids Make Them Low On Self Esteem?’, in which she tells us how shaming could affect your kids and how to avoid it, paved the way for her selection.