Weatherford Democrat

Extension News

May 18, 2014

EXTENSION NEWS: Helping your children build self-esteem

WEATHERFORD —

Self-esteem can be important in order to be happy and successful in life. A person who has talents that help them achieve, yet lacks self-esteem, can become a major road block in being successful in a relationship, job and almost everything.

Helping children develop a healthy self-esteem is considered by many experts to be one of the most important responsibilities of raising children. It is commonly thought that if parents can bolster their children’s self-esteem at a young age, they will more likely be able to successfully navigate the challenges of life. 

Children can have a healthy or an unhealthy self-esteem. Children with a healthy self-esteem place value on themselves that is both positive and at the same time realistic. They can handle a reasonable amount of negative experience and information. Self-esteem for the very young is based on feelings of being loved and being accepted by their parents. As children grow, self-esteem becomes a product of feelings derived from evaluating oneself against others such as school performance and physical attractiveness. Children with healthy self-esteem tend to be happier and more confident. They get along with their peers and accept their strengths and weaknesses and are able to work toward solutions when faced with challenges. When they do fail, they tend to bounce back.

Parents, grandparents and caregivers are uniquely positioned to influence and shape their children’s self-esteem. The time spent with children and the natural interactions enable them to instill in their child a sense of personal worth and competence. Here are some strategies that are suggested by Dr. Stephen Green, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Specialist:

• Lay the groundwork when your child is young. Loving and properly caring for your children gives them the feeling of being loved, accepted and valued.

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