Is good self-esteem important and how do you get it?
From The Happy Child set of talks and materials
Self-esteem is something we often hear talked about, but it is a complex issue that can be difficult to unpack, to quantify, or to really know about ourselves. So how do you know if your child has it? And is it really that important anyway?
Self-esteem is our personal evaluation of how good or bad we feel about ourselves
It is then steeped in our feelings of competence, confidence, and worthiness. And it is intrinsic within our children’s sense of happiness, their mental health and well-being.
As children seek to discover how to act in the world they will be looking to their parents. As well as other close, influential adults as their first and most enduring role models. Because of this, the messages you send them – both overtly and without intent – have a huge bearing on the values they place on things. And even more importantly, the values they place on themselves. So does your child have good self-esteem? Do you?
Be mindful of the messages you are sending your child and the values you are instilling
When you begin to think about the qualities that you wish to inspire in your child, you will quickly see why this needs some careful handling. And why it is all too easy to make mistakes if we don’t take a moment to think about what we are doing.
Children need opportunities to develop their abilities and to experience their success. But at the same time, they need to feel reassured that they are important and loved, irrespective of their achievements. If you want your child to develop healthy levels of self-esteem, they need to be shown that you believe in their capabilities. While being giving the time and space to discover who they are, and what they can do.
Children with a good level of self-esteem typically demonstrate a range of positive attributes
When a child has a good level of self-esteem, this is displayed throughout their lives. It is reflected in both their rates of development and in school achievement outcomes. They tend to try new things more frequently and manage any challenges they might encounter more positively. They tend to be more flexible thinkers and better problem solvers.
And when failure does happen, they are more likely to assign blame for the failure to the situation. Rather than to their own short comings. Meaning they are more likely to look for a different solution, rather than give up.
Children with good self-esteem have an inner psychological strength
When children feel good about themselves, and confident within their own abilities they learn to understand the world on their terms. They become aware of their own strengths and weaknesses, without being frightened of them. And they develop a sense of the power they have to control their outcomes. Avoiding the depression and low self-esteem that so many of our teenagers are facing.
So, be aware of the messages your child is receiving, the potential they have to dramatically affect their self-esteem and the impact this may already be having.
Dr Kathryn Peckham is an Early Childhood Consultant, author and researcher and the founder of Nurturing Childhoods. Providing all the knowledge, understanding and support you need to nurture your growing child. www.nurturingchildhoods.co.uk
DEVELOPING EVERY CHILD’S POTENTIAL