Are you viewing your child (or yourself?!) from a "what is right" or "what is wrong" perspective? 

Although identifying potential barriers to emotional and psychological growth is important, ironically, it can get in the way and lead to significant damage to a child's self-esteem. Of course, this is the opposite of what parents are trying to do, but many are unaware of how they contribute to the problem. 

Dr. Vaughn and Sally discuss the importance of challenging negative beliefs about children and teens in the process of getting them the help that they need. Asking, "how might this behavior be viewed by someone else as a positive trait" is one way that caregivers can begin to move towards validation. They need to first change how they see their child so the child can change how they see themselves. Improving behavior and self-esteem requires that we look for "the nugget of gold in the cup of sand." 

For example, seeing a child as "easygoing" rather than "lazy" or as "optimistic" instead of "unreasonable" helps avoid "throwing out the baby with the bathwater" when it comes to assessing a child's personality development and self-concept. 

Not to mention that you can certainly use these tips for yourself as an adult. Just sayin. 

PS: The gold is there. We promise. 

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