Monday, January 17, 2011

Self Esteem more important than Sex

New research shows that youth like getting a self-esteem boost more than they do sex, money or food. For example, they would prefer getting a good mark on an exam, or getting a compliment from someone.

Unfortunately there have been some people, including the head of the research team, Brad Bushman, who felt that this wanting a self-esteem boost was addiction like. That getting a compliment was like getting a band-aid for a deep wound; it actually does not solve the problem. This thought completely devalues the importance of self-worth.

Out of all addictions out there, wouldn’t this one seem desired and positive? I would rather my child want a compliment over alcohol at a party or diving in for another snack.

I feel that life is almost all about addictions, or habits. We all have habits, unhealthy and healthy. We need to make choices as to which habits we would like in our lives. Wanting self-esteem boosts, I would say, is a valuable habit.

This study also revealed that we as a society have a massive misconception about youth. We assume all they want is sex, food, booze and money. We are wrong. Maybe we should start trying to help our children do well on exams and tests. Maybe we should pay them a compliment more often. Maybe we should teach them that they are valuable.

Also in a different light, this study shows that our children are craving self-esteem boosts so much, to the point of addiction, because they haven’t been receiving enough at home, if any. So as a parent, here are some ideas to help you boost your child’s self-esteem.

Let your child know that you love them. Daily. Tell them or give them a hug.

Teach your child to hold to their values, as this will build a strong self-esteem.

Help your child develop positive thinking. All actions and behaviours begin as thoughts.

Encourage your child to develop, and spend time in their interests.

Most of all, teach them that they are not defined by a paycheck, how many friends they have, whether or not they have had sex or by anyone or anything else. They are the ones that define themselves. Their value is internal.

How would you boost your child’s/youth’s self-esteem?

Picture from FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

Monday, January 3, 2011

Making Goals, Not Wishes For The New Year

A New Years tradition with my family is going out for breakfast on New Years Day. We went to a restaurant. While we were there we ran into some of my wife’s clients. They joked with us about how they were going to start their diets after breakfast. Their joke had me thinking about how lightly goals to change are being taken.

I have met many people who set “goals”. I would call them wishes. They state their goal for the year, say wanting to keep a cleaner home, but do nothing about it. They make no changes to their current system. It’s as if they are hoping fairies will do it for them.

We need to make goals, and do something about them. To get started on our goal making, lets understand a couple of principles so that we can make goals that invoke change in ourselves. You can also use these principles as you help your children make goals for the year.

First, the goals need to be specific to you. Your goals cannot include changing other people. This not only isn’t possible, it will only create frustration. By keeping goals personal, you will be in control of their results.

Second, you need to identify, and specify what your goal is. Your goal can be to change a certain habit, like nail baiting; or it can be to change a current pattern in life, such as to start getting up early; or a behaviour like being kinder; or even task related, such as writing a book. When you identify your goal, you know exactly what you want to accomplish.

Third, the goals you are setting need to be inline with your values and beliefs. If you value your time with your family, you shouldn’t create goals that would interfere with that time. Since in the long run, your goal will not be achieved, because it doesn’t line up with your values.

Fourth, you need to remind yourself of your goal. Set up alarms on your phone, computer, gaming system and anything else that gives you an automatic reminder. Also have it written, or a symbol of it, somewhere in your home, such as beside your TV, computer screen, on the mirror, or on the fridge. This constant reminder will keep your goal at the front of your mind, and prevent it from going onto the backburner.

Fifth, you need to be held accountable. If you can hold yourself accountable to yourself that’s fantastic. If you need to be held accountable by your spouse, parent, teacher, sibling, friend, or someone else, that is fine. This way your goal won’t get lost on the wayside if you hold yourself accountable.

Finally, you need to be S.M.A.R.T. about your goals. April Perry, from the Power of Moms, recommends that we be S.M.A.R.T. about our goals by making them Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.

As you are S.M.A.R.T. about your goals, and keep these aspects in mind about goal setting, you will be able to make changes to your routines, habits, behaviours, and tasks.

Good luck in your endeavors for 2011!

Photo from