As a blogger I often come across some amazing campaigns geared for girls and helping empower them, help them grow, build on their self-esteem and more. And it got me thinking. What about boys? As a mom of 2 boys, I feel as though boys are being left out of the loop when it comes to help in raising them to feel confident, grow with big hearts and helpfulness, and to help empower them, too!
Low Self-Esteem Doesn’t Just Affect Girls.
If you are a mom of boys then you know that boys can suffer from low self-esteem just as girls do. The problem is that boys don’t often communicate their feelings, which can make parenting difficult. Feeling good about yourself is an important step in growing. If you don’t feel good about yourself, it can cause you to bring others down, or even love yourself properly.
Boys are often led by an earning system, meaning if they don’t earn love and trust by doing things that are worthwhile, their mood is most likely not to improve. They can suffer from depression, feeling out of sorts, feeling left out, alone and as though they have no friends, socially awkward and angry which can make feeling good about themselves a difficult struggle to face.
How to help boys improve their self-esteem (this goes for all kids)
1. Limit online engagement — Boys will often retreat to their rooms with their cell phones and engage online with friends or people they don’t even know. Limit their online activity. Keep them active by getting them involved in a sport, art class, cooking class, swim club, chess club — anything that they can enjoy where they can meet new friends, engage one on one and help to build their self-esteem through face to face sharing with others.
2. Community Involvement — Getting involved in your community is a great way to help improve your son’s self-esteem. We all feel great when we help someone else. Shovel a neighbors snowy sidewalk, help an elderly person grocery shop, join in on team or community events where you have to volunteer your times. Make it a family plan for everyone, because boys who grow up seeing how helping others can make them feel good can go a long way to helping them feel great about the positive acts they contribute in their lives.
3. Have An Open Door Policy For Your Son’s Friends — At our house my son’s friends are always welcome. My ears are always available to anyone who wants to talk. Our door is always open to his friends, even when he’s not home. Make your home a safe place for your son’s friends to come over, watch a movie and hang out. Doing this will help your boys feel at ease and goes a long way to helping you know who he is associating with, where he’s going and what’s going on in his life.
4. Chores Are Important Don’t Raise a Lazy Boy! — Talking to a teenager is like talking to a wall. Their ears shut off and they are off in their own little world. But it is important to teach our boys that household chores are an important part of taking pride in who they are, so they can be more successful in their lives as they grow. Chores like laundry, taking out the garbage, cooking dinner, putting away the dishes, vacuuming their bedrooms, and dusting can create strong, confident boys who can get things done and feel great about doing them. Keep a list. Keep it simple. Keep it regular. And don’t forget to praise them for jobs well done!
5. Set The Ground Rules and Keep the Communication Open — In our house we have a family talk once a week where we sit down and discuss anything bothering us. Whether it’s a test we failed, sibling rivalry, punishments that the kids feel were too harsh. We discuss it. Open communication is important but so are the rules. One thing I know is that my boys feel safe because I have rules that need to be followed. But also because I have rules I expect will be followed. Kids need rules, it makes them feel loved and cared about, even when they whine about it. It’s better than not knowing where they are, what they are doing, or who they are with.
No matter how you help to build on your boys self-esteem, remember you can be their friend, confidant, listening ears, motivator, supporter, but above all their parent. Get to know their friends. Encourage their goals and dreams. Help them communicate their feelings, and involve them on what’s going on within the family dynamic.