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teach your baby to value herself
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Teach Your Baby to Value Herself

Kaye Cooper

Value Myself-Birth to Age 1

The first year of your child’s life will lay the foundation for her character. This first year is when she begins to believe that she is worth someone’s time and attention, that she is loved. Valuing herself is the foundation of emotional strength. A sense of self worth is the first essential value contributing to her character.

During the first year, your child will develop a sense of himself—and of the world—by the way the people in his life treat him. If they respect him, care for him, love him, meet his needs promptly, and make him feel secure, he will begin to understand that he is a highly valued person. As you nurture him lovingly, he will begin to value himself. As he matures, valuing himself will help him to
respect other people, as well.

Happiness in Life

Valuing oneself is an essential quality if a person is to live a meaningful, fulfilling, and happy life. When a young child feels she is not as good as others, she probably will try to get someone to reassure her that she is “good enough.” That can result in vulnerability to abuse. If a child grows up thinking herself incapable, deficient, dumb, or worthless, she is likely to behave accordingly, and give up hope. She may act out angrily, fall into depression, and eventually even be destructive of herself or others.

Advantages of Feeling Valued

A child who feels cared for and values himself has many advantages in life:

  • As a child, he does not need to do whatever his peers want from him in order to win their approval.
  • As an adult he feels worthy of the respect of others.
  • He will not allow other people to mistreat him.
  • He will be capable of trusting others and connecting with friends and family in healthy relationships.
  • His life will be much more likely to bring him peace and happiness.

Bonding Through Genuine Affection

The consequences of a poor self-concept last throughout life and are difficult to change. Fortunately, doing a good job as a parent in this first year comes down to something relatively simple: the primary job of parents in this first year is to see to their child’s needs and to love and enjoy her as they do so. Identify her needs and fill them. Be reliable so she feels secure in your care. It
may be inconvenient to feed her on her schedule, but it is important. Because you respond to her when she calls, she eventually begins to understand that she is able to make things happen. Feeling capable is important to her thriving.

She will feel your emotions. So, be calm, affectionate, and gentle. Keep your attitude playful and enjoy being with her. Your genuine affection is a powerful and lasting bond between you. Your affection is essential to her emotional strength.

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