Friday, September 19, 2008


From TODAY, Voices
Wednesday September 17, 2008

By Dr James Dobson

Does your home provide an emotional safe harbour for your children? Is it a place where they feel protected and nurtured? The measure of emotional safety at home can have lasting effects on the psychological well-being of your children.

A classic study of child-rearing practices which followed over 1,500 boys from pre-adolescence to adulthood produced three very interesting findings.

First, when love and appreciation are communicated to children, their self-esteem grows. Children constantly need to feel loved.

Perhaps this is unsurprising, but the second finding was that the parents of the children with high self-esteem were not only strict, but consistent in their discipline as well. If children find that rules at home are not being enforced, they often assume that no one cares enough to get involved. Permissiveness leads to insecurity and dependence in children, whereas accountability and responsibility breeds confidence and a high degree of self-respect.

The third ingredient that marked the home of the high self-esteem children was openness. Once the boundaries had been established, there was freedom for individual personalities to grow and develop.

So, a loving home that is emotionally safe, where boundaries are established and individuality is encouraged, permits children to blossom into confident adults.
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