A Little Trust Goes A Long Way
Filed Under (parenting tips, self-esteem)

I remember the day I felt grown up for the first time.  I was 8 years old, spending the summer at a beach house.  Older friends had decided to walk to the local ice cream store – one that I had never been to without my parents.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to join the group, but asked for permission anyway – children never give up hope, do they?  Shockingly, my mother said yes!  And not in that begrudging ‘you’ve worn me out’ tone.  “Sure,” she said, as easily as if I was asking permission to go to bed.  Afraid that she might reconsider if given too much time, I grabbed the money she offered and dashed out the door. 

In my mind, the ice cream shop was miles away.  In my mind, I was not with several older tweens and teens who were watching after me.  I was just one of the big kids without a parent.  Turstworthy and responsible.  Had my mother given me a run-down of safety rules and a list of warnings and what-ifs, I would have felt differently.  Her unnecesssary repetition of a script I knew well would have sabotaged my self-esteem.  Instead of trying to live up to the perceived trust she had in my maturity, I would have resented her condescension and adopted a careless bravado.  In other words, a lack of confidence on her part would have made me act more carelessly.

I don’t remember much from my eight year on earth.  But I clearly remember the very important day that I ‘finally’ grew up. 

Questions and Actions:

  • What leap of faith could you take that would boost a child’s self-esteem?
  • How do you unwittingly sabotage your child’s self-esteem by unconsciously repeating patterns and choices filled with limitation?
  • When was the first time you felt grown up?  Have you thanked the person who trusted you?
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