Love and Respect

Is parental love sufficient to protect a child's self-esteem and instill a spirit of confidence in his young mind?  Unfortunately in many cases, it is not.  I'm Dr. James Dobson with Focus on the Family. 

Your child may be convinced that he's greatly loved at home, and yet still perceive that you and your spouse don't really respect him.  He can know that you would actually give your life for him if required, and yet your doubts about his acceptability may show through.  Maybe you're tense and uncomfortable when he starts to speak to guests or outsiders; or you interrupt to explain what he was trying to say.  Or laugh nervously when his remarks sound foolish.  Or maybe you give him an extended lecture when he's going to someone else's house on how to avoid making a fool of himself. 

It is amazing how well a child can read those subtle clues, which may be signals to him that even though he's loved by his parents, they don't really trust him with their image; that he must be supervised closely to avoid embarrassing the whole family. 

My point is that genuine love and affection for a boy or girl is only half the task of building self-esteem.  The other element of respect must also be added if you are to counter-balance the insults and confidence-busters that society will later throw at him, and in that arena he needs all the help he can get.  This is Dr. James Dobson for Focus on the Family.

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