Shaming Your Kids Online Can Permanently Damage Their Self-Esteem

Share Button

By Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC

twokidsunWhen you reflect back on your childhood, it’s likely you remember hearing these words at least once during your childhood. “You should be ashamed of yourself.” These words probably made you feel bad because you knew your parent was upset, embarrassed or hurt by something you said or did.

That was discipline and discipline is an important part of parenting. However, telling your child they should be ashamed of themselves is very different from shaming your child on social media. For one thing, anyone can see your display of shaming and it’s permanent, making it impossible for your child to be fully forgiven.

Parents who shame their children online can’t possibly understand the repercussions of their actions. Discipline is one thing, and kids do need discipline, but discipline with public shaming and humiliation is not healthy punishment or parenting. It causes all sorts of other problems as the parent/child relationship continues.

For example, kids who are shamed using social media become better at hiding and lying about what they are doing.

* They stop trusting their parent and will no longer be comfortable going to them when they are hurt or scared.

* They may become more narcissistic as a way of over-compensating for feelings of shame and humiliation.

* They may develop increased anger, leading to severe depression and anxiety.

* A child whose private life becomes public is also less secure with boundaries. After all, if their parent can’t be trusted to protect them, who can they trust?

Parents need to discipline their kids, but discipline should be done within the home. Taking access to social media away from the child and allowing them to earn the parent’s trust back is most effective when rules have been broken.

groupkidsIf you feel at your wits end–and you want to make a point with your child–I would advise you to remember these simple rules regarding social media shaming.

* Remember, you’re the adult. Never post something permanent when you’re angry, tired or in a bad mood. Think it over for at least 24 hours.

* Keep family business within the family. Shaming your kids, your spouse or your friends says more about you than it does them.

* Children are vulnerable in regard to their self-esteem because they’re still in the process of learning who they are. A public humiliation could permanently damage their sense of self.

* If you have any apprehensions about posting anything, don’t post it.

* If you want to stop the behavior, begin with talking to your child. It’s common courtesy. Since you are modeling for your child, reflect on what you are modeling when you post something that is going to humiliate them.

Parenting a child is difficult, and your job is to protect your child and help them become successful, well-adjusted adults. Social media outlets can be helpful to parents and children, but using a social media outlet to shame or punish your child is not wise. What you post never goes away, nor do the scars they cause.

– Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Read more about the book at StartTalkingBook.com and more about Rapini at maryjorapini.com.

Self-Esteem Tools And Techniques

Share Button

By Hiren G

womanarmupPoor self-esteem shows up as that nagging, carping little voice inside your head. Psychologist Eugene Sagan calls it “the pathological critic.” This inner voice exists inside everyone’s mind, but for those with poor self-esteem, it becomes a vicious detractor, a malignant backbiter that is always censorious and insulting. The voice can be masculine, feminine or even asexual. Often, it can sound like one of your parents. Each day, your pathological critic works overtime to undermine everything that you think, feel and do.

Life can be tough, brutal and unforgiving – a knockdown, heavyweight fight. So, how can you survive? Build your self-esteem. If you feel that you do not deserve such a rough time, that you merit good experiences, not bad ones, then get up and fight back. But what if you do not possess this vital spur of self-worth? Then, you get into deeper trouble. You start to kick yourself while you’re down and that’s no way to win a fight. You need a proper sense of self-esteem to give yourself a chance to prevail against your challenges. Without it, you can end up on the ropes. Affirm yourself and you win. Reject yourself and you lose. This is life’s most basic rule.

Self-Esteem Tools and Techniques

Put various mental techniques to work to improve your self-esteem. Assessing yourself accurately is one such technique. Write about how you look, what your personality is like, how well you do at work and so on. Put a plus sign by the positive notes and a minus sign by the negatives. Now, list all the negatives on a sheet of paper. Don’t use pejoratives; just be matter-of-fact. On a separate sheet of paper, expansively describe your positive attributes. When you are done, write out a more accurate description. Memorize it. Use it the next time your critic harps at you. Say, “Hold on a minute. You are not judging me fairly. I am kind, smart and hard-working.”

Avoid thinking in “shoulds”: “I should never make any errors.” “I should work hard every minute.”

Avoid thinking in “shoulds”: “I should never make any errors.” “I should work hard every minute.” No one is perfect, including you. When you make a mistake, it is not a grievous sin. See your mistakes as teachers or warning signs. When someone criticizes you, don’t internalize his or her remarks. Many people do not see things clearly and routinely misjudge others. They misinterpret everything based on their own emotions and prejudices. Unfortunately, people with low self-esteem are always ready to believe the worst about themselves; don’t fall into that trap. Never let other people’s notions about you bring you down. Instead, assert yourself. Ask for exactly what you want. Don’t say, “Let’s get out of here” when you are uncomfortable in some setting. Say instead, “This room is packed…I can’t hear myself think. Do you mind if we go?”

Visualize “positive scenes” to enhance your self-esteem. See yourself as worthy, popular, at ease and confident. Imagine yourself getting a raise, hitting a home run or winning a marathon. Visualization is remarkably effective. The subconscious interprets the images you create in your mind as being real as the external reality your senses perceive. Perform your visualization exercises twice daily – when you get up and before you go to bed. To visualize, first deeply relax. Start with a simple image – a blue circle on a grey background. Then change the circle’s color to yellow. Now, change the circle to a red triangle.

If you take command of your thoughts, you can take command of your feelings, including your sense of self. You can use the techniques above to elevate your self-esteem and consequently, feel much better about yourself.

– Hiren G is a director at Headrush. Headrush conducts light and intensive outdoor experiential learning for corporate clients, to a variety of different ends.

Negative Impacts Of Obesity More Among Boys

Share Button

obese childFrom Your Health Journal…..”A great article today on Zee News an Australian publication I enjoy reading and promoting, which posted an article about the negative impacts of obesity on boys. Most times, we only hear about how obesity affects girls, their lives, their routine, and their self esteem. We know that this has a major impact on their lives, but it would also seem obvious it would affect boys just as harsh. A new Australian study has found obese boys have a significantly lower than average quality of life and excess weight amongst teens, particularly in boys, appeared to be associated with decreased life satisfaction. The study, published in American Journal of Adolescent Health by researchers from Sydney`s Westmead Millennium Institute (WMI), said the results were surprising to find “negative psycho-social impacts of obesity were greater on teenage boys than upon teenage girls”. In my opinion, kids are kids, and equally upset over the quality of life, whether they are male or female. The main thing is to find a happy medium with these children – to improve the quality of their lives through healthy lifestyle, love and support. Please visit the Zee News web site to read the complete article. It was well written and informative, the link is provided below.”

From the article…..

A new Australian study has found obese boys have a significantly lower than average quality of life and excess weight amongst teens, particularly in boys, appeared to be associated with decreased life satisfaction.

The study, published in American Journal of Adolescent Health by researchers from Sydney`s Westmead Millennium Institute (WMI), said the results were surprising to find “negative psycho-social impacts of obesity were greater on teenage boys than upon teenage girls”.

“The findings suggest that an unhealthy weight status and excess body fat could negatively impact on the mental and physical wellbeing of adolescents, particularly in boys,” the lead author of the study Bamini Gopinath said yesterday.

“The findings highlight the value of assessing quality of life among adolescents with excess weight in both clinical practice and research studies.”

“Girls in this study who were either overweight or obese did not have significantly different quality of life scores compared to normal-weight girls,” said Gopinath.

Gopinath, a senior research fellow at WMI, said the reasons for the difference were unknown, but she speculated it might be because of the importance of sport to boys.

“If obesity is limiting their participation in sport, it might negatively affect their social functioning and/or physical functioning, both of which are measured as part of the total score.”

The researchers found the quality of life (QOL) score improved for previously overweight boys and girls who lost weight to fit into the normal weight range.

The start of the study, in 2004-2005, involved 1,688 teenage schoolchildren attending 21 randomly chosen Sydney schools.

When the study began, the children had an average age of 12.7 and they were measured for height, weight, Body Mass Index, percentage of body fat and waist circumference and categorised into five ethnic groups.

To read the complete article…..Click here

Putting Kids On The Biggest Loser Is A Bad Idea

Share Button

overweightchildFrom Your Health Journal…..”A very interesting article from The Huffington Post by Becky Hand entitled ‘Putting Kids On The Biggest Loser Is A Bad Idea‘. As most of you know, I am always promoting the Huff Post here, but I do like their articles a lot, including this one. When The Biggest Loser announced it was going to have kids on the show, I had mixed feelings. On the one hand, I worried that certain children would have their self-esteem lowered through on air mutilation in front of millions of viewers. Then, on the other hand, I thought how wonderful that some kids would get much needed help in reducing their weight and start a ‘new’ healthier lifestyle. But, I really did not see much on this in the media, so I was fascinated to read this article. Ms. Hand stepped up to the plate, and expressed her honest opinions. She notes that one in three children in the United States are overweight or obese. A child is considered overweight if his or her body mass index is at the 85th to 95th percentile for age. If his or her BMI is above the 95th percentile, the child is considered obese. Heart disease is on the rise, as well as type 2 diabetes – both related to obesity. The author points out that keeping kids weight issues private is an important issue to her, but she also gives out great pointers to help parents lead their children towards a healthier lifestyle. She suggests not to single out one child who may be obese or overweight, but to treat all children the same when discussing healthy habits. She also mentions how to clean out the pantry of unhealthy choices while preparing healthy choices for the entire family. Please visit the Huff Post site (link provided below) to view the complete article and to support Becky Hand’s work.”

From the article…..

For the first time in its 14 seasons, the hit weight loss reality show The Biggest Loser is featuring obese children. If you’ve seen the show, you know that the producers have made some changes to the show’s formula for these kids.

The three teens, who are clinically obese, live at home while participating in the weight-loss interventions, rather than on the ranch. They are not exposed to the same demanding treatments as the adults, they cannot be kicked off the show, and they are each given the title of “ambassador.” Their role is to bring attention to our country’s childhood obesity crisis and empower others to make better food choices, move more, and work toward a healthier body weight.

One in three children in the United States is overweight or obese. A child is considered overweight if his or her body mass index is at the 85th to 95th percentile for age. If his or her BMI is above the 95th percentile, the child is considered obese. To determine if your child falls in either of these categories, talk to your child’s pediatrician or chart it yourself using the Centers for Disease Control growth charts.

When faced with startling statistics like those, it is easy to see why drawing more attention to this epidemic is important. (And in my last post, I emphasized that downplaying the obesity crisis, even in one story, can seriously affect public health.) Despite the gravity of the situation, I am not convinced that the task of informing our society about our childhood obesity crisis should be placed on the shoulders of two 13-year-olds and a 16-year-old, especially with millions watching their personal weight-loss experiences each week.

As a registered dietitian involved in the treatment of overweight children, I am aware of the need for compassion and privacy when working with overweight children and teens. It worries me when the primary focus becomes the number reported on the scale and the weight issue is viewed as something that children or teens can fix on their own. Overweight and obese children are at nearly twice the risk of having other medical, mental, and development conditions when compared with a child in the normal weight range.

To read the full article…..Click here