Debra Delaine asks this ques-
tion of children all the time. She’s an elementary school counselor in Ellenwood, Georgia.
Kids almost always name something material they possess—usually an item of clothing.
Counselor Delaine next asks children, “If you didn’t have these things, then what would you like best about yourself?”
Their answers are usually complete silence!
“Unfortunately in our society, what you possess defines who you are,” says Delaine. We need to help children identify their good qualities. We need to help them feel good about who they are, not what they have.
Parents help by doing these things:
· Accept your child for who he is. Understand and accept both strengths and weaknesses. Don’t compare him to other children. Don’t expect A’s . . . when B’s or C’s are what he gets doing his best.
· Tell your child you love him—strengths, weaknesses and all.
· Compliment your child on character qualities. Say you’re proud of your child’s manners, for example. Or comment that he has good friendship skills.
· Help your child focus on the positive. Remind him that not making a team or a high grade doesn’t define who he is. How he uses the experience as a learning tool will.
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