Giving compliments to children that you don’t really believe. For example, telling them that they are right about something, when they are not or that they are ready for a music performance when they need more practice before they sign up. Children can tell when compliments are not true. When they get these insincere compliments from people they care about, they start not trusting those people. They also begin doubting themselves.
Letting your children off the hook when they mess up. Children need to take responsibility for bad behavior and mistakes. When they do so and pay the consequences for their mess-ups, they feel better about themselves. They realize they can make-up for mistakes and still be loved and cared for.
Letting your children be mad or sad when bad things happen. When children are distracted from or talked out of their sad or mad feelings, they don’t ever learn how to deal with those feelings. When they face those feelings and work through them, they gain confidence that they will be OK even when things are difficult. They learn there is light at the end of the tunnel. This understanding can keep them from being beat down when bad things happen. It can help them stay strong and protect their high self-esteem.