Do you know that emotional attachment and self-esteem can determine and positively impact the development of personality in young children?
As moms, we get to experience the wonderful feeling of emotional attachment during the first years of our child’s life. The loving and trusting relationship between mother and child, along with the verbal and nonverbal messages that we exchange throughout daily interactions, are part of the development of emotional intelligence in young children.
Emotional attachment and self-esteem generate positive impacts and determine personality development in young children and the way they manage their relationships. The positive relationships that we have with our children during the first years of their lives help us to create healthy neurological connections called synapses. These connections last a lifetime and are fundamental for emotional stability.
Children that grow in a happy environment can reach high academic achievement and manage their conflicts and emotions assertively. On the contrary, feelings of frustration and anger, along with a lack of communication and low self-esteem, can produce toxic stress that weakens the structure of a child’s brain.
In a child’s mental map, the word “NO” is meaningless. So every time you focus on what you don’t want your child to do, you are actually reinforcing it. Perhaps you have noticed how your child responds to negative commands like “don’t run,” “don’t hit,” and “don’t bite,” for example–your child will run, hit and bite instead.
I’d like to share 10 effective phrases to use when interacting with your young child to help you develop their emotional attachment and self-esteem. I guarantee that if you use them consistently, positive behaviors will emerge in the blink of an eye as you develop a pattern of conscious discipline.
- When your child shows you affection, you could say, “Thank you for the hug, I can feel your love. I love you too.”
- When reading a story to your child, you could say, “Thank you for listening attentively. I can see your eyes are focusing on me and your ears are listening. I am glad you like the story.”
- When your child is learning to walk, call him/her by their name, open your arms toward them and tell them to walk towards you so he can trust you. You could say something like, “Wow, look what you did! You did it! You took your first steps. I am proud of you.”
- When changing your child’s diaper, you could say, “Thank you for staying still while I change your diaper, Mommy really appreciates your help. Safety is a priority.”
- When working on a particular task, you could say, “Great job! You are working hard on that puzzle. I can see you are looking for the pieces carefully and that you are using both hands. You’re almost done!”
- When sharing a meal, “I am very proud of you. You ate all your lunch. You ate your chicken, your vegetables, the strawberries and drank your milk. Food is important for energy and nurturing our brains.”
- When working on routines, “Thank you for helping me wash your hands with soap and water. It is important to wash our hands to stay healthy.”
- When running errands by car, “Thank you for buckling your seatbelt. To me, your safety is a priority. Let’s talk or sing on our way to the supermarket.”
- When sharing a happy moment, “Thank you for showing me that beautiful smile. You have beautiful teeth. Your smile brightens my day. We are going to have a wonderful day.”
- While cleaning, “Thank you for picking up your toys when I asked you. I am proud of you. We are a team!”
Emotional intelligence grows when we reinforce positive behaviors. As you practice these phrases and expressions, you will notice a definite change in your child’s behavior. You’ll be amazed.
Responding to negative behaviors
We can certainly get frustrated when our children misbehave. However, it is important to stay calm and to respond to those behaviors with a positive approach. It takes practice, but you can learn to control your own emotions so that you can redirect your child.
Finally, regardless of any family styles or cultural differences, it is important to understand that emotional attachment and self-esteem help children achieve an emotional balance when dealing with everyday life circumstances.
Nowadays, when having values is no longer a priority, emotional intelligence is essential.
I’ll leave you with this principle: It is more effective to raise children with a healthy emotional support system than to repair emotionally unbalanced adults.
What kinds of expressions or phrases you use to discipline and redirect your child at home? Share your experiences and tips in the comments and let us know! And you might help another mom, too.
With love and gratitude,