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One of the most important life skills that we must learn in order to practice healthy self-esteem is how to discern when to say “yes”, and when to say “no”. Having good discernment means understanding when a situation is right for you or not, and being able to act and react accordingly.

This can be particularly difficult for children, who may feel pressured to make decisions that aren’t necessarily in their best interests. Unfortunately, this can have long-term negative consequences on their self-esteem. That’s why it’s so important to teach children how to listen to their inner voice and act from a place of understanding, rather than from a place of fear or worry.

Here are some useful tips that parents can help their children use to discern when to say “yes” or when to say “no.”

Let them know they can….

1. Take your time. Don’t rush into decisions without consulting trusted adults in your life first. It’s crucial to really take the time to think through a situation and weigh the pros and cons, so that you can make an educated and informed decision.

2. Listen to your gut. It may sound cliché, but there’s truth to it – if something doesn’t feel quite right, even after considering the pros and cons, there may be something to it and it’s important to pay heed to that inner voice.

3. Don’t overthink it. Sometimes it really is as simple as saying “yes” or “no”. Even if it seems like a difficult decision, if you take the time to really think through the pros and cons, the choice may become clear quite quickly.

4. Use outside support. If you’re still not sure what to do or if something feels wrong, it helps to talk it out with a trusted adult, such as a family member or teacher. They can provide a different perspective or help guide you towards making the right decision.

Learning how to use discernment when making decisions is a key part of building healthy self-esteem. With these tips, children can start learning how to listen to their inner voice and make decisions that will serve them well – now and in the future!