How can I help my children accept themselves?
Demonstrate Love and Acceptance
Evaluate your attitude toward your children. Do you accept them as unique gifts from God? Children know if they are loved unconditionally or if they are considered an inconvenient intrusion.
Wrong attitudes toward your children can cause deep emotional wounds and result in self-rejection, which is actually rejection of God’s design. These attitudes need to be confessed to God in repentance. Forsake them, seek the forgiveness of your children, and ask God to love them through you.
See Your Children as God Sees Them
As you begin to see your children through God’s eyes, you’ll discover the truth that each child is:
- Made by God. (See Isaiah 44:24.)
- Planned by God. (See Isaiah 45:9–12.)
- Wanted by God. (See Deuteronomy 31:12–13.)
- Treasured by God. (See Matthew 18:5.)
- Loved by God. (See Mark 10:13–16.)
Children often put into practice what they observe in the lives of others, especially their parents. As you practice self-acceptance and acceptance of your children, they can learn to see God as their loving and wise Designer.
Communicate God’s perspective to your sons and daughters in practical ways.
Spend time interacting with them.
- When you talk to them, get down on their level and look them in the eye.
- Listen carefully to their responses.
- Connect with them not only through words, but also with meaningful physical affection.
- Play with them and let them work with you.
- Make the most of teachable moments by talking about life issues and learning from day-to-day experiences.
- Give them things to do that help them see that they are an important part of the family.
- Tell them how much you love them.
Teach them about God.
- Talk about God’s design. Explain that God made them according to His unique plan and for His purposes.
- Teach them about their ten unchangeables.
- Lead them to Christ.
- Help them discover their spiritual gifts.
- Encourage spiritual growth through daily Bible reading and prayer.
- By example, show them how to love God by delighting in Him, obeying His Word, and loving and serving others.
Discipline them consistently.
- Establish proper limitations and consequences for your children’s attitudes and actions. Explain how their wrong actions violate God’s Law.
- Say what you mean and mean what you say.
- Hold them accountable for assigned responsibilities.
- Keep your promises.
- Practice good manners by speaking respectfully to them, even when correcting them. Always address you children by proper names or affectionate nicknames—never use demeaning nicknames.
- After discipline, always reassure them of your love.
Compliment them for inner qualities.
- Avoid comparisons with others.
- Tell them how much it means to you when they make wise choices.
- Acknowledge the struggles your children face as they mature, and praise them whenever you see them growing in Godly character qualities (patience, kindness, truthfulness, courage, etc.).