Step Emphasize Character Not Performance

The point is to judge others not on what they have done but based on who they are. That means you need to stress character, not performance. Start with your child, but because modeling is such an important way kids learn, do it also with your whole family. That way you will be more likely to really walk your talk. Here are some ways to emphasize to your kid that in the end, it's his character that matters most:

• Stop rewarding; just expect and accept. Stop bribing or rewarding your kid's efforts. The best self-esteem is internalized: your child must gain a sense of pride that he accomplished something for the joy of doing it and did it on his own. Also, find a level of expectation that is appropriate for each child's specific ability, temperament, and level of development. Some kids just do better than others at certain things during certain times.

• Halt the "parading." I know you're proud, but stop putting your kid on center stage to always perform. It's all right on the soccer field or in a musical concert, but lower the curtains in your home.

• Emphasize effort, not the product. Put your acknowledgments into the little steps and efforts your child makes, not the final result.

• Stress unconditional love. Continually emphasize to your child, "Who you are is what matters most. Not your grades, test scores, appearance, or friendsWin or lose—you are who I love."

Single Parenting Becoming the Best Parent For Your Child

Single Parenting Becoming the Best Parent For Your Child

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