Personal Grooming: How It Fosters Self Esteem In Your Child
Do appearances really affect our self-esteem and make us feel good about ourselves? Or is it just a myth? Let’s explore.
How do YOU feel when you leave home wearing creased clothes, with untidy hair, unpolished shoes or without a bath? In contrast, how do you feel when you have taken a shower, taken time to make sure you are well dressed in clean, ironed clothes and good shoes, a little perfume and your hair in place?
“Look Good, Feel Good”
Feeling good has a lot to do with our appearance, and a neatly groomed appearance certainly DOES boost self-esteem. It may not be the most crucial factor affecting self-esteem, but it is a important because it bulwarks confidence. What are the advantages of being well groomed?
Good Personal Grooming Increases Confidence
When a child looks in the mirror and sees a well-groomed person looking back, he or she will stand straighter and walk with assurance and confidence through the rest of the day.
It Boosts Social Acceptance
This further boosts the child’s self-esteem. Picture this scenario – your daughter brings two friends home from school. One is neatly dressed, hair in place and a clean washed face.
The other is wearing creased clothes, with open, tangled hair and chocolate cream on the side of her lips. You assume that she had a bad day at school and ask her if she wants to wash up before they start playing. She declines and says she is fine.
Knowing the impact of peer pressure, which child would you want your daughter to associate with more? Whether you like it or not, your body language will reflect either approval and disapproval.
Good Self-Image Helps Your Child Function Better
That’s true, whether at school or at play. Good self-care creates a feel-good factor that leads to success in other areas of life. Good grooming habits are a primary step on the ladder of self-esteem.
In fact, there is no better place to begin in the case of children with generally low self-esteem. So how do you foster in your child a sense of pride in his or her appearance?
Teach Your Kids About The Importance Of Personal Hygiene
Allow no shoddiness in terms of combing and maintaining hair, washing hands before and after meals, bathing and brushing teeth regularly, keeping finger and toenails clean, wearing well-ironed and clean clothes, clean shoes, etc. Buy the best personal hygiene products you can afford and ensure that they are used.
Ensure That Good Grooming Is Not Situational
Children should take pride in their appearance, whether at home or out. As someone said, ‘Character is what we do when nobody is watching us.’ Look good for ourselves alone is as important as good public appearance.
Wearing clean underclothes, nightwear, socks etc. have nothing to do with our public image – yet they make us feel good because we are basically valuing ourselves.
Don’t Do It All For Them
Encourage your children to dress themselves, keeping their age and capability in mind. This will give them a sense of achievement and satisfaction, which will increase self-esteem. Allow them to choose their own clothes.
You can help them in making appropriate choices if required. For younger children, for example, take out two or three choices and ask them to pick one. This gives them a sense of responsibility and makes them feel competent. It also helps their decision-making skills and makes them more self-reliant.
Insist On Good Posture
Encourage your child to maintain a good posture while sitting, standing or walking. Good posture is a known subconscious confidence booster and is also good for the back, digestion and breathing.
DON’T criticize children about their looks. Every child is special. Even though some of them may not have been blessed with drop-dead good looks, they all have their own unique strengths.
Teach them to make the best of their looks and focus more on cleanliness and a neat appearance. This encouragement and acceptance goes a long way in making children feel good about themselves and opens up the path for them to focus on their individual strengths.
DON’T criticize or make fun of their weight. Sometimes it is genetic and beyond their control. Even if it is not, don’t keep nagging them about their weight. Instead encourage them to exercise, provide healthy meals and don’t get junk food into the house.
To Sum Up:
- Teach your child the importance of dressing well and appropriate to the occasion
- Ensure that you have the right grooming and hygiene products at home
- Lead by example, and use reasoning rather than force to create grooming habits that will last a lifetime
© Rupal Patel is Child Psychologist & Parent Counsellor who conducts parenting workshops, seminars and e-classes. Visit her website: www.onlyparenting.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This article may be reproduced with the complete author bio and a link back to http://www.lovingyourchild.com
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Personal Hygiene Educational Video for Kids