Good vs Bad - How Absolutes Effect Self Esteem in Young Children
Parents often make the innocent mistake of using the terms "good" and "bad" when talking to their children. When you take into consideration the importance of self esteem in young children, these absolutes are probably not the best terms to use. When good vs bad there is always a winner and loser.
Good and bad are such absolutes, in fact, that when a child gets the impression that they are bad they carry that attitude for the rest of their lives. Therapists have no shortage of work because most adults have issues stemming from childhood scenarios where they were consistently told they were bad. There are other ways to discipline a child rather than telling them they have been bad when you disapprove of something they do.
Children are not bad. The techniques you choose for toddler discipline will carry over to their teen years. Their actions are incorrect sometimes, but they, themselves, are not bad. There is a big difference between who a person is and what they do.
Unfortunately, we are judged by our actions, and not our intentions. (You can start by teaching them so they may have a foundation to discern and learn) We may be intending to teach our children right from wrong, but by telling them they are bad send them the message that they are worth less and not a "good" person.
It id never to late to reframe the conditioning from this kind of labeling. Start by praising progress and their attempts rather than end results, and never compare your child to other people. They will grow up comparing their insides to other people's outsides. It teaches an inaccurate view of reality. You might refrain from using absolutes like "always" and "never" when talking to your children about their behavior. The importance of self esteem in children is paramount, for it effects their decisions throughout their life.