One of the best ways to build esteem in each other in a committed relationship is through acceptance. Accepting who your partner is at their core, in their character and history. The events that shaped them and their feelings about those events. Acceptance is not passive but active.
Acceptance is taking the simple positives of our partner and highlighting them in kind ways both privately and publicly. It means being constantly curious about what made them who they are and expressing that in happy ways. Recently one of my daughters (aged 6) said, “I can’t wait for Mommy to get home, I’m going to paint with her!” I responded, “You’re excited! Yeah, Mommy is great at crafts, she loves it.” My wife’s sister had shared with me some time earlier that Jill loved crafts as a little girl. I am learning to roll with the enormous mess that comes with creativity in our house and knowing Jill’s love for this art gives me an opportunity support her as well as esteem her in front of our children. I hope I also showed esteem in receiving what her sister shared with me and taking interest. How we talk about our partners is extremely important to our children.
What we say or don’t say about our partner affects our children
Because children are dependent from birth their identity is strongly attached to that of their parents. This is why the perspective we take on our partner (the child’s other parent) can directly impact the self-esteem of the child. We respect the child’s parent, the child feels positive. We bring the other parent down and it diminishes the spirit in the child as well. Positive statements, compliments, and way-to-go’s are important to building self-esteem in each other and carrying forward this attitude in children not only about the parent but about themselves as well. A good question for each of us to ask is how many positive things have we said about each other this week both privately and publicly? Are we complimenting each other in front of our children? After all, what does a compliment show?
Compliments connect us
Complimenting each other connects you. First, it connects you mentally, then emotionally, sometimes physically and even spiritually. Compliments uncover the better parts of us and create positive feelings and thoughts which is important, especially because we all have problems and imperfections that can be covered with embarrassment, depression or pride. The nice things about compliments is, they are inexpensive but make sizable investments. Not for payback, but payforward. Bringing out the positive of each other also shows that we know each other, we understand (some parts at least), and appreciate each other.