"Self Esteem Is Not What
You Think It Is"
Self Esteem is so misunderstood, that the methods used in schools and in the home to boost it actually undermine it. The key to remember is that you're the adult in the relationship.
So what is "Self Esteem"?
In the dictionary, it is "a realistic respect for or a favourable impression of oneself; self-respect". This seems simple enough. But why, then, do so few people have it?
"You Either Have It or You Don't"
Self confidence comes from within. No one gives it to you. No one takes it away from you. If you don't have it, then you've decided that you don't have it or you don't deserve it.
If you're depending on someone to give you praise, you may have found how short the good feelings last. The minute you don't receive praise, you're unhappy.
In parenting, a child doesn't receive it when they are excessively praised. They start taking that for granted. They don't get it from being given whatever their little hearts desire either.
All that does is give them a sense of entitlement. It could become insatiable. It merely makes a person happy for a few minutes and then looks for the next fix.
"Do You Believe In Yourself?"
You want something that makes a person strong. In a short time, there is just NO pleasing that person. Because they keep looking for someone to give them something. Such people will buckle under the slightest pressure.
On the one hand, they'll feel that someone else should deal with problems. They won't be able to deal with them.
"Solving Problems Your Own Way"
Real self esteem is about knowing that you can solve your own problems. But you are also strong enough to ask for help. Knowing that you've conquered a difficulty all by yourself is what really gives you strength and resilience.
Be cautioned though. You do not defer all decision making to your child. Give them options that are age appropriate, like what they'd like to wear that day or who they want to play with, which chores they can do, etc.
"You Make the BIG Decisions"
Make sure you're the one making the big decisions for them like medical treatment, which grade school they'll go to or French or English or Spanish school, when to do homework, do their homework.... Make sure you're the one helping them to make the best choices for diet, physical activity, and rest.
Children are not equipped to make BIG important decisions that will impact their health and well being. That's your job. Asking your child to make certain decisions that they aren't ready for because they don't have your foresight and experience, absolutely undermines their self esteem.
And scares the heck out of them! Remember, you're the adult in this relationship.
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