Hello, we’re awesome: Kids who feel good about themselves make parents feel the same way

Paula Sirois

My 8-year-old daughter and her friends started a band called Hello, We’re Awesome. I helped her design some fliers for their first performance, complete with star borders and stage names: Milk Chocolate, Mandarin Oranges, Laughing Twizzle and Tropical Starburst. Granted, they haven’t decided on the type of music they’ll play or if any of them even know how to sing or play an instrument, but that doesn’t matter. They are awesome and have a compelling need to tell everyone, quickly, via neon-green fliers.

Don’t you wish you felt the same way? Some days I can’t help but think I’m a failure. But somehow I’ve managed to raise a child who feels compelled to scream to the world that she (and her best buds) are the awesomest. This intense self-esteem came from somewhere, and since I am the someone where “somewhere” began, I believe I shall take all the credit. Well, at least some of it.

Maybe you, too, are an awesome inspirer. Maybe you have kids who run around announcing their fabulousness and showcasing their budding talents at magic or dance or acrobatics. You’re an awesome guide, an awesome believer and an awesome supporter.

In case you’re running out of awesome ideas to keep that self-esteem thriving, here are three more:

1. Listen: Babycenter.com suggests self-esteem building by giving your kids one-on-one attention. “That does wonders for your child’s self-worth because it sends the message that you think he’s important and valuable. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time; it just means taking a moment to stop flicking through the mail if he’s trying to talk with you or turning off the TV long enough to answer a question. Make eye contact so it’s clear that you’re really listening to what he’s saying.”

2. Look: Make sure you’re aware of your kid’s surroundings. Who are their friends at home, school, Scouts and sporting practices? Make your home the kid-zone home and invite the friends to play, which gives you a better chance to learn more about the people who are influencing your child’s life.

3. Learn: According to the AskDrSears.com website, “Children need jobs. One of the main ways children develop self-confidence and internalize values is through helping maintain the family living area, inside and out. Giving children household duties helps them feel more valuable, besides channeling their energy into desirable behavior and teaching skills.”

It’s not hard to help your kids develop strong self-esteem and to believe they are awesome. In fact, it takes one to know one, so that means you’re a tad awesome too. And if you don’t believe me, just ask my daughter. She’ll ask you some pertinent questions like, “Do you prefer chocolate milk over plain white? Do you think staying up late and watching funny movies is super cool? Do you like puppies?”

If you answered yes to all three questions, she will fashion you a crown out of construction paper and glitter, pronounce you an awesome person and then invite you to her first gig. The Hello, We’re Awesome band will be opening somewhere soon.