The word “self esteem” gets thrown around a lot by child experts and parenting magazines, but what is self-esteem really all about?
You know that it’s important to cultivate high self esteem in your child, but doing so isn’t necessarily as easy as it sounds. In our modern world, where kids face more pressures and are inundated by the media and online communication, parents have to take proactive steps to teach their children about self-esteem.
The following guide will help you understand what self esteem is and how you can promote the concept with your kids.
What is Self Esteem?
Self esteem measures the way you value yourself. The term reflects both positive and negative beliefs you hold about who you are and what you’re capable of doing. People with high self esteem tend to be confident, motivated, and happy with their own identities. However, people with low self esteem are often very critical of themselves and suffer from feelings of insignificance and guilt.
In children, self-esteem is often influenced heavily by parents, teachers, friends, and peers. The amount of positive reinforcement and the number of criticisms a child receives from parents and teachers can impact his or her level of self esteem substantially. Bullying and peer pressure also affect a child’s self esteem greatly, as children may feel poorly about themselves and internalize the messages they receive.
The Importance of High Self-Esteem
Studies have found a significant correlation between high self-esteem and high self-reported happiness. Though researchers cannot be certain that high self esteem causes higher levels of happiness, they can say that people who value themselves and are confident in their abilities are more likely to be happy.
“People who experience high levels of self esteem also
tend to hold strong beliefs and to be more
certain of themselves in unfamiliar situations.”
High levels of happiness and confidence coupled with a self-assured nature can carry your child toward success as he or she gets older. While it’s important to equip your children with the skills and lessons that they will need to succeed in the world, it’s just as essential to cultivate a high sense of self esteem in them.
Promoting High Self Esteem in Your Children
Of course, promoting high self esteem in your children isn’t an easy task. Your children face pressures to look and act in certain ways from their friends, teachers, and the media. While these pressures have a strong influence on children, encouraging your children to love themselves as they are is one of the best things you can do to promote high self-esteem.
Honor your child’s unique qualities, and praise your child for the things that he or she does well. When children feel loved and appreciated, they are more likely to grow confident and satisfied in their own abilities. While you still want to encourage your child to become even better and to learn more as he or she ages, it’s essential to help children see that they are worthy of love and happiness simply for being themselves.
Until next time, here’s to strong, healthy self-esteem in your children!