Self Esteem, The New “Black”
The boy looked at his mother and said, “I don’t think I can. I usually mess things up.”
In the situation above, the boy is displaying a poor self-esteem which is making him more hesitant to take risks and move out of his comfort zone. Children with low self-esteem not only are reluctant to take risks, but often talk and think negatively about themselves. Via richmondregister.com
I did a Google search for the term, self-esteem that resulted in and over 45,000,000 sources for the topic in, only 046 seconds. It’s clear that parents, educators, therapists and the media are directing their attention on building up children’s self-esteem.
What is Self-Esteem
Self-esteem is a personal assessment of your worth and value. You determined your self-worth by evaluating how capable, influential, and worthy you were in different situations. People with high self-esteem are responsible, take pride in their accomplishments and don’t overvalue their strengths or underestimate their weaknesses. They’re proud of their accomplishments and aren’t threatened by the success of others. it’s necessary that you understand the value of helping your child develop positive self-esteem. Because,if your children see themselves as capable, knowledgeable, lovable and competent human beings, they’ll have a better chance living a happy and productive life. And the good news is, you can be your child’s, self esteem Guru, guiding and helping them develop a healthy opinion of themselves. To help you through the process, I’ve created a series of posts to help you understand how self-esteem develops and how it can be changed from infancy through adolescence.
No one is born with a fixed opinion of themselves. You might think that heredity influences self-esteem, but that’s not the case. Children learn how to feel about themselves through their interactions with the significant people in their lives, their family, teachers, and peers. So, if your child informs you that having the same, “big nose” as daddy, is embarrassing, it’s not the nose that’s the problem. Your child’s humiliation comes from how he or she was judged by others, positively or negatively. From comments made by friends or family, children form opinions about their looks. And, their behavior in social situations is dependent on their self-perception. For example, Mary’ feels she’s unpopular because of her big nose, so she seeks out situations that support her feelings. One day at school, Mary sees her best friend, Lucy, sharing lunch with a classmate and decides Lucy doesn’t want to be her friend. Mary begins to feel that because of her looks, no one likes her she avoids talking to Mary and her other classmates.
How Do You See Yourself?
The underpinnings for the all the hoopla on self-esteem began in the late 1800’s, (yeah that long ago) when George Herbert Mead, a sociologist developed his groundbreaking theory of, “Social Self”. Until, Mead published his theory psychologists believed that biological factors and inherited traits formed our self-image. But Mead disagreed, and argued that feelings of, “self” developed over time through social activities and experiences. Based on the work of George Mead, Charles Cooley developed, “The Looking Glass Self“. The main point of Cooley’s theory is that significant people in our lives serve as the “mirrors” that reflect images of ourselves. As children, we were treated in a variety of ways. If you, members of your family and other important people look at your children as smart, you’ll tend to raise them with certain types of expectations. As a consequence, your children think they’re smart. For instance, if you believe that your closest friends look at you as some superhero, you are likely to project that self-image, regardless of whether this has anything to do with reality.
“I imagine your mind, and especially what your mind thinks about my mind, and what your mind thinks about what my mind thinks about your mind.” Charles Horton Cooley.
Parents In The Know
Parenting is a tough job. And we enter the field with no skills or training. As a parent, you need to know what’s what because your family experiences have either a positive or negative impact on your kid’s self-image. Uninformed parents run the risk of living with a child who’s indifferent, disrespectful, and deceitful and lacks warmth and empathy. When you understand your child’s behavior and developmental stages you’ll be a more effective parent. And have a better chance of raising a child who develops into a productive, well-adjusted adult. You’ll know how to create situations that encourage and help your kids develop useful behaviors and skills in the social, academic and moral areas of their lives.