How we can strengthen children's self-esteem?
- Why is self-esteem important?
Self-esteem is the confidence in one’s own worth and abilities, having self-respect and faith in one’s self. It is how we feel about ourselves and our behaviour clearly reflects those feelings.
When we understand and accept our self as we are, it helps us understand and accept others. The way people who are important to children, treat them and what they say will raise or lower the children's self-esteem. How we feel about ourselves affects the way we act and how children feel about themselves affects the way they act. Moreover, how children and we feel and think about ourselves can change with time.
Self-esteem can be defined as feelings of capability combined with feelings of being loved, knowing we are valued for what we are. Self-esteem means that one’s image of oneself includes a sense of being worthwhile and valuable. Children’s ideas about themselves come from the others around them, particularly from parents and their primary caregivers. A child who is happy with an achievement but does not feel loved may eventually experience low self-esteem. Likewise, a child who feels loved but is hesitant about his or her own abilities can also end up with low self-esteem. A healthy self-esteem comes when the right balance is reached.
Self-esteem fluctuates as children grow. It is frequently changed and fine-tuned, because it is affected by a child's experiences and new perceptions. Take the example of a child who is confident, has the ability to cope with her class, is in a familiar environment, has the support of her teacher and classmates; gets good grades in school work and is also able to help other children. The child is sent to a new school, she is not familiar with the teacher and classmates, can not cope with the new environment, ways of teaching, is not supported by the adults in the environment, feels dejected and is embarrassed at times for not meeting the adult’s...