In the past decade, parents have heard much about our childrens’ need for high self-esteem. Of course parents want happy and confident kids. What could be better?

As concerned parents, we work hard to help our children become assured. We listen to them, praise them and speak positively to them. We provide them with structure, guidelines and responsibility; a framework to help them feel secure. We drive them to piano, soccer, ballet, art, and baseball to help them develop talents and skills so they can be confident in their own abilities. We help them with school so they feel good about their academic performance. Motivated by love, our efforts help them to develop in healthy ways.

Mormon YouthBut in our great work, have we missed the simple truths of developing self-esteem? Have we shared with them the secrets that offer greater power, infinite confidence in purpose, and immeasurable joy?

When we give our children the knowledge of who they are, why they are on Earth and where they are going, we give them so much more than a “Way to go!” This knowledge is the true foundation to building a healthy self-esteem.

Who They Are

In famous words by Paul the apostle, we learn who our children are. He declared that we are all children of God. Acts 17:28-29

Modern leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, referred to as the Mormons, have repeated these words in The Family: A Proclamation to the World:

“All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny.”

Consider this amazing statement. To be a child of God means that we are eternally significant. It means we have divine heritage. Knowing we are children of a Father in Heaven gives our lives purpose and direction. We have heavenly potential and are dearly loved. Could there be a more powerful message of love, hope and expectation for our children?

Why They Are Here

Our children have an important mission while here on Earth. They are here to learn, progress and prepare to meet God.

“For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.”( Alma 34: 32-33)

Our Father in Heaven sent His Son, Jesus Christ, as the example to follow. The life of the Savior was one of service. He “went about doing good.” (Acts 10:38.)

The talents and skills that our children learn can give them confidence and can be personally enjoyable. A greater purpose in having them is to serve others as Christ did.

Our children can play the piano in a church service, cook meals for a family with a new baby, perform a dance to bring smiles to the elderly in a rest home. Our children can use their abilities to do good in their family, their school, their neighborhood and their future professions. Service for others builds self-esteem. When children serve others, they serve God and work toward achieving their divine potential. (Mosiah 2:17)

Where They Are Going

Our children can know that they can live eternally with their Father in Heaven when this life is over. This is our Father and Jesus Christ’s objective. “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39)

Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can return to live with Him if we strive to keep His commandments and take opportunity to repent when we make mistakes. (Jacob 6:11)

When our children know where they are going, their purposes are sure, their objectives are clear and their potential unmatched – to be joint-heirs with Christ. Again, in the words of Paul the apostle:

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Romans 8:16-17)

When our children know who they are, why they are here and where they are going, they can be confident – they are children of God. They can be happy – their life has a plan. They can be empowered – they can return triumphant to their Heavenly Father having reached their potential. Now what could be better than that?

About Jenny A

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