Self-esteem... also known as
Self-repect, Self- Worth
All of these words refer to the way a person thinks of themself... what they believe they are worth. It dictates how he/she feels about themself, and is often reflected in a person’s behavior.
High vs. Low
High - A person with a high sense of self-worth has an inner feeling of pride and accomplishment, they know that they are loved, valued, and accepted. A person with this type of esteem knows they are smart enough and trust themselves enough to make their own decisions. They value and respect themselves as well as others.
Low - People with low self-worth tend to not think very highly of themselves. They may often be critical of themselves and believe they are not important
One of the strongest effects on a child's sense of worth is the child's parents.Parenting style plays an important role on the development of high (or low) Self-esteem.
What can parents do to make a difference?
· Model model model! Do as I do not as I say! When a parent nurtures their own self-esteem and models that to their child it does more than anything else can to teach that child what self-esteem means. If a parent is understanding, loving, warm, accepting, and reasonable a child sees that and internalizes it. When a child observes their parent as harsh, overbearing, critical, unrealistic, or negative those are the qualities they are likely to take on. ( SCARY and TRUE)
· Be aware of how powerful your words are. The positive and the negative, praise is nice and remember that they are counting on the truth, the truth in a loving, warm, and genuine way…not false praise.
· Acknowledge feelings. Try to always give constructive and accurate feedback. Children don’t always know what feelings they are having that are driving their behaviors. It is helpful to help them identify the feeling. This also gives them a feeling of validation. They are not bad they are simply having an emotion and that’s ok. The way a parent reacts to their child's feelings is critical. It helps to try and recognize the emotion or feeling behind a temper tantrum or outburst. For example; if a child calls their sister stupid and says that they hate them - a parent may want to respond by identifying why the child is upset. It may sound something like this :
“I see that you are angry with your sister because
she_______ (fill in the blank) and it would be better
if you stopped yelling at her and told her how
that makes you feel. “
If this is done constantly you will notice that your child will begin to do it naturally.
“Self-esteem is the reputation we acquire with ourselves.”