…and do anything necessary to build yourself, and those around you, UP.
Focus on the things you and others do correctly. It builds self-esteem. And it makes everyone better.
I often keep my niece. She’s a bit…let’s say “confused”… on her “orientation”, so to speak. And she doesn’t always get the best parenting. So she comes to me when she needs to talk things out. Be who you are, I tell her. No one else needs to approve of you but you. Others will follow, but you be you. Believe in yourself.
But….. Over and above that, she’s still only 14 years old and is a major screw up. She screws things up constantly. I used to be somewhat critical of her when she did so. I was trying to correct her and make her better.
It didn’t work. It only alienated her from me somewhat for a little while. She would shut down and just wanted me to go away. I can’t say I blame her.
So I had to change my approach.
I began to ignore the stupid little mistakes she did, even though they still annoyed me. But when she did something well, even if it was something which was a simplistic task which really didn’t matter in the long run? I praised the living shit out of her.
She claims to want to be a writer when she grows up. Yet she currently has a 28 (yes, that’s out of 100) in her Creative Writing class because she just won’t do the work. So instead of getting on her about it, I asked questions. Mostly, I asked “Why”, but without harsh judgement. She said she wasn’t interested in the topics. So we talked more, one on one. And then I explained to her that learning new things is not a bad thing. Even if you think you’re not interested in the subject, you might find that you learn something you never knew you could have interest with. Expand your horizons, get your work done. I’ll sit here and help you. But you need to get this done.
It worked. We got her assignments finished, even though late as hell at this point. But they are turned in.
She’s still a pain in the ass. She’s still making mistakes. But you know what? So am I.
But she’s happier now. And so am I.
Biggest of all, she has more confidence in herself now.
Seems worth the effort.