A child’s self-image is the biggest determining factor in their happiness and overall success in life.
A parent’s responsibility is to build their child’s self worth and give them the confidence they need to succeed, but our churches are full of kids whose parents don’t do this.
Jesus told us to “love our neighbor as yourself.” Most of our teaching is challenging people to love others however, it’s not possible to love others if you hate yourself.
Think about it. If you hate yourself, and you love your neighbor like you love yourself, you will hate your neighbor.
How do we minster to kids that have a poor self-image? If children come from a dysfunctional home is there anything we can do or are they destined to grow up with low self-esteem? In other words, how do we teach kids to love themselves?
The good news is that kids can change their self-image. Here are six things you can teach kids to help them love themselves.
1) Let Father God Love you. See yourself the way that God sees you.
2) Think positive thoughts about yourself. A healthy self-image is when you think positive thoughts about yourself. A negative self-image is when you think negative thoughts about your self.
3) Say positive words about yourself. Don’t say negative things about yourself. God would never say “You’re stupid” or “You’re ugly”. Agree with what God says about you and say that.
4) Find out what you are good at and do it. Accomplishing a task and doing it well builds self-confidence.
5) Hang out with people who make you feel good about yourself. “Iron sharpens iron”
6) Avoid people who make you feel bad about yourself. It doesn’t matter how cool they are, no friendship is worth damaging your self-esteem.
As I talk about this you may struggle with your own self-image. (I know I do some times.) Don’t shy away from teaching this. Do the six steps for yourself and then teach them to your kids.
- When you teach do not act like you have it all together.
- Be transparent with what you have struggled with.
The more you teach them to others the better it is for you. Your own words will hold your heart accountable.
Here is a link to a one-minute video of a four-year-old girl named Jessica. She’s a great example of a child with a healthy self-image. Take note of how Jessica’s positive attitude spills over on the people that she loves.
Everybody needs a mentor. My Mentor was Willie George, aka Gospel Bill. Gospel Bill’s mentor was a children’s evangelist named Captain Hook. Kids need a mentor too. Someone who believes in them enough to invest time in them.