“You are valuable because ____________________.”
Sometimes parents mistakenly value things in their children that can later prove problematic. If Jenna was always told she was “the beautiful one” and then has a tragic accident leaving her with disfiguring scars, Jenna may believe her value is lessened because she has lost her beauty.
Be sure when you are valuing your child that it meets these criteria:
1) It can’t disappear (with age, disaster, disability, i.e., not wealth, beauty or intelligence)
2) It’s true of you from birth to death
3) It can’t depend on other people (“because my children love me”)
4) It must be reasonably value-creating (participation and contribution)
5) It must apply to all people regardless of religion, nationality, etc.
When we value our children we are encouraging them. Pay attention to their efforts and improvements instead of emphasizing outcomes. Remind them that their current status is sufficient. Notice their strengths and help them find ways to use their strengths in positive ways to benefit others. Now that’s valuable!