Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Parenting and Self Worth

When Teresa blurted out, "I'm dumb. I'm no good!" she was expressing a deep sense of how she sees herself. She felt she was such a valueless person that no one could accept and love her. This feeling and thinking led to Teresa's years of sense of worthlessness, a low regard or judgment of her self.

Yet Teresa's "wound" in regard to her low self worth was exposed during her therapy. Early in life, both her Mom and Dad were constantly evaluating her everyday behavior and performance. Unfortunately, her parents' evaluations of her were consistently negative and critical. This developed a feeling of "badness" inside her. Teresa's shaken foundations of parental care led to her feelings of severe depression and suicidal behavior in her adulthood.

I'm thinking that it takes about 100 compliments to make up for 1 criticism in a child! Children are sensitive. They get easily discouraged and depressed. Healthy parenting of the children's psychological and emotional health means we need to support, encourage, and compliment them freely. We parents need to keep criticisms to the barest minimum to protect our children's sense of self worth.

Indeed, one way of looking at the widespread problem of mental illness in our society is that it's a way to cover up or compensate for lack of healthy self worth. Peel away all the psychiatric or psychological diagnoses down to the heart and core, and you'll discover that emotional problems stem from ancient love-wound or earlier childhood deprivations that developed an inability to love and value one's self.

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