Quite challenging is the job of building self-esteem in a child I'm constantly correcting and redirecting! How do I convey the essential message that my son is precious and valuable to me? I have to remind myself there are LOTS of ways to let him know I value him. Because he gets into more trouble than not it seems, I have to squeeze in those positive affirmations as often as possible every day. "You're amazing!" and "You know That? - Wow, Bud, you're so smart!" He's always been fairly cuddly on his terms so I made a conscious decision when he was younger, to give him pats, high-fives, hugs & kisses (those may fade soon as we approach the teen years) whenever he was near me. Kids whose self-esteem bottoms-out, turn to drugs & other illicit behavior for companionship & validation. I love this boy with all my heart and the idea of us heading down that path worries me. Whatever I can do on a DAILY basis, to let him know he is unconditionally loved and valued, I try to do.
His special interests change rapidly & don't hold his attention long but when he shows interest in something, we "jump on it." Wanna cook? Let's go! Puzzles? I'll do one WITH you. You like "Calvin & Hobbes?" We check out 2 from the library! Favorite game? T.V.'s off - I'm here to play it. High energy kids need equally high-energy parents. These kids take more time than most but I'm really praying and hoping the time I give him pays off one day! Maybe it's paying off even now!