By definition, self-esteem is the way in which an individual perceives herself-in other words, her own thoughts and feelings about herself and her ability to achieve in ways that are important to her.
This self-esteem is shaped not only by a child’s own perceptions and expectations, but also by the perceptions and expectations of significant people in her life-how she is thought of and treated by parents, teachers and friends. For healthy self-esteem, children need to develop or acquire some or all of the following characteristics:
- A sense of security. Your child must feel secure about herself and her future.
- A sense of belonging. Your youngster needs to feel accepted and loved by others, beginning with the family and then extending to groups such as friends, schoolmates, sports teams, a church or temple and even a neighborhood or community.
- A sense of purpose. Your child should have goals that give her purpose and direction and an avenue for channeling her energy toward achievement and self-expression.
- A sense of responsibility. Give your child a chance to show what she is capable of doing. Allow her to take on tasks without being checked on all the time. This shows trust on your part, a sort of “letting go” with a sense of faith.
- A sense of accepting mistakes and failure. Your child needs to feel comfortable, not defeated, when she makes mistakes or fails. Explain that these hurdles or setbacks are a normal part of living and learning, and that she can learn or benefit from them.
For the full article and additional tips on helping your child develop a healthy sense of self-esteem, CLICK HERE.
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