3 Steps to Encourage Self-Love
One of the significant responsibilities of being a parent or guardian is shaping our children's inner-Sidekick stories. It is our responsibility to educate our youth on positively approaching their feelings and not allowing their Sidekick to become a harsh critic that shuts them down. Instead, we need to help them create a foundation that will enable their Superhero to lead the way.
When our children show emotions, it is time to step in and train their Superhero so he can one day be their voice of reasoning. One way we can help mold their stories and encourage self-love is by following a three-step process.
Listen. The greatest misconception about listening, I believe, is the amount of energy one must exert to listen fully. To listen fully, we must completely; stay focused, understand their message, and comprehend the information. Only then can we respond thoughtfully.
Understand Their Experience. By doing so, you will connect and share the experience. We must show empathy, not sympathy. Put yourself in their shoes to feel what they are feeling. If you are having trouble, ask questions to gain a better understanding.
Validate. Let them know you hear them, relate to how they feel, and that it's alright. Be careful; many of us tend to replace this step with our feedback, ideas, or solutions. Instead, focus on the specific emotion they are feeling, acknowledge it, and offer justification.
By following these steps, we begin to mold our children's future inner-stories and influence their Superhero to lead over their Sidekick. These steps will coach our youth to embrace self-love by accepting their emotions in a non-judgemental fashion and showing self-compassion. It is our responsibility to be aware of what we teach our youth. Our voice is the future voice of our children's Superheros and Sidekicks.