Developing Your Child's Self-Esteem
By Andrew Loh
Self-esteem is a popular term in psychology. It reflects your own
overall evaluation or self-appraisal about self-worth or value.
Self-esteem is a set of core beliefs about yourself and personality. It
is also a package of a series of emotions like a feeling of
self-victory, despair, pride, shame, sadness, happiness and empowerment.
There are two ways of looking at self-esteem. One relates to what you
think about yourself, your core beliefs, and the other is an earnest
self-evaluation of yourself (either positive or negative) or it is the
“how you feel about yourself” concept.
Simply speaking, self-esteem is a personal collection of beliefs or feelings that you
have about yourself. It is also your self-perception of your abilities,
strengths and weaknesses. Self-esteem could severely influence your
internal motivations, attitudes and behaviors. Self-esteem may also play
a vital role in adjusting your internal emotions those are not visible
to external world.
Self-esteem is an important psychological
concept in children. Self-esteem starts taking shape right in the first
month of your baby's life. For example, a toddler's life is a series of
physical and mental accomplishments. Crawling on the belly, sitting up,
standing, walking and talking are all-important physical and mental
milestones. As and when the baby becomes successful in reaching
milestones, he or she will sense a feeling of pride and accomplishment.
Each accomplishment will help the toddler to improve and bolster
self-esteem. A series of failed attempts to crawl and sit and eventual
successful accomplishment of those tasks will instill a “can-do”
attitude that eventually leads to improvement in self-esteem.
Self-esteem and success are closely interlinked. Success breeds a sense
of accomplishment. A series of small accomplishment will lead to
building up of self-esteem in children. As children achieve better
success levels, their sense of self-esteem will also go up. Building
self-esteem is a long process that continues until the end of life. The
extent of self-esteem a child will possess in later stages of life
depends on the quality of foundation that the child gets in the
childhood days (Learn more about
A Kid's Guide to Boosting Confidence and Self-esteem here).
Self-esteem is a self-induced concept. In other words, your children
build a sense of self-esteem without their conscious effort. It occurs
invisibly and one can never see it nor feel it. However, the outward
manifestation of high or low self-esteem is visible very clearly. The
children will somehow express it through their words, actions and
demeanor. In many instances, children with low self-confidence often
tend to use many negative words like:
I am not intelligent
I am a failure
I am so skinny
I am too fat
I do not look good
I would be very happy if I were intelligent like my classmates
I would be so glad if I had hair like her
I do not have the intelligence to pass in that exam
My classmates are better than me
The list is endless! In fact, a child with very low esteem tends to
invent specific reasons to degrade his or her personality. Self-esteem
is a very powerful personality concept. It can work like a sharp knife
to cut both ways. Positive self-concept is a positive idea while
negative one will have a series of serious consequences in life.
Self-esteem could affect many aspects of life - both personal and
professional. Children who do not have self-esteem tend to:
Feel that they do not belong in this world
Feel that they are incapable of learning lessons
Feel that they cannot accomplish or
achieve anything tangible in life
Feel that they are useless and
that they cannot contribute positive things in life
On the contrary, children with positive self-esteem feel proud and confident
with a sense of belonging in the world. Children with positive
self-esteem tend to:
Feel that they belong to the world
Feel that they can contribute positive things to the world
Feel that they can handle crisis and emergencies in life
Feel that they can pass their tests very easily
Feel that they are better than others
Parents and teachers are the great sources of positive
influence on the children. In fact, they can contribute a lot to develop
positive self-esteem in their children. Positive parents and teachers
are the catalysts to breed positive self-esteem in children. Children
with healthy self-esteem are responsible and productive in their life.
In addition, they are also empowered with the necessary skills and
knowledge to succeed in their personal and professional life. Continue to read
Developing Your Child's Self-Esteem - Practical Empowering Techniques here.