Youth Alternatives: Raising kids who love themselves

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CHEYENNE, Wyo - In our bi-weekly interviews with Cheyenne Youth Alternatives we touched on ways you can raise healthy, happy children who also love themselves.

You need to remember that your child's sense of self-love is taught, it is not a "given."

-Parents are responsible for teaching self-love
As parents, we are responsible for teaching our children to love themselves. The #1 way we do this is by loving ourselves. If we aren’t talking care of ourselves and looking after everyone but ourselves, we are teaching our children that love comes from the outside or only comes through “doing for others.” This leads to children who feel they need to be “people pleasers” and have a sense of entitlement, which we want to avoid.

-Parents need to model self-love
As parents, we can model self-love by living our lives first. We need to show our kiddos that we are responsible, organized and passionate about who we are in the world. That means we work hard but also make quality time for our friends, family, children and activities we enjoy. We need to remember that children watch how we live our lives, and they do what we DO and do very little of what we SAY.

-Parents also need to model positive behaviors to reinforce self-love
We can set our children up for success by modeling positive behaviors. We get up prepared for the day, we maintain a positive attitude, we may exercise, we prepare and eat healthy meals, and maintain structure in our homes. We let our children know that we all have a special purpose in this world. By setting these positive examples of how we live, talk, love and express ourselves, our children will follow suit.