Building Self-esteem and Independence

Reviewed May 12, 2017

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Summary

Robbers of self-esteem:

  • Body image
  • Being picked on or bullied in school
  • Early romantic involvement

Many parents, counselors, and educators talk about how to give self-esteem to children and teens. There are countless books on the subject by so-called experts. But there is very little proof that we can teach or give self-esteem to another. But, we can encourage it. 

What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem is the way we see ourselves. Healthy self-esteem comes from knowing that you are loved and have a purpose in the world. Children who feel safe with their parents develop the belief that they are worthy of love and attention. They learn to love themselves because their parents loved them first. This sense of security translates into the confidence to try new things. It also helps overcome frustration and develop good friendships. When this occurs, they simply “feel good” about life. Kids who have healthy self-esteem shine like a bright light.

Self-esteem takes root in childhood. That is when we learn that our family loves us in spite of our faults and shortcomings. And, at the same time encourage us to do our best. Those with healthy self-esteem live their life with worthy goals, values, and morals. When they stray from this path, as everyone does, their self-esteem lowers. Feelings of failure and guilt are not symptoms of low self-esteem. They are painful reminders that serve to correct unhealthy choices as we strive to make better choices. Accepting ourselves for who we are, while at the same time striving to improve is a sign of healthy self-esteem.

The teen years

Good self-esteem helps children make good choices about life and behavior. Teens with good self-esteem are less likely to follow the crowd and do something dumb or dangerous. Good self-esteem includes the confidence and ability to make right choices. Studies show that teens with high self-esteem are less likely to use drugs or alcohol.

Robbers of self-esteem

During the preteen and teen years self-esteem is fragile. Trying to fit in and be accepted is a big challenge. Here are some things that can hurt self-esteem.

  1. Kids whose parents divorce may feel unlovable or to blame for their parents’ problems.
  2. Body image. A teen who feels too fat or too thin may believe that she isn't good enough. This is especially true for girls.
  3. Being picked on or bullied in school.
  4. Failure in something important like not making the soccer team or getting bad grades.
  5. Early romantic involvement. Many teens get into relationships too fast and end up being hurt or rejected. The wounds from rejection in early life can be very damaging.

Families, faith, and self-esteem

Most children wonder about big questions. These can include "Where did I come from?" and "Why am I here?" It helps all those whose family attends church, synagogue or mosque, to have the reasons for attending explained. This is very true with children. In other words, what the belief or purpose is and why. As people, it is often helpful to know we are connected to others with similar beliefs and values. This can instill an appreciation of traditions and the importance of being part of a larger community.

You can help a child’s self-esteem by letting him know that a higher being has a plan for his life. Pray for and with your children. A study from The Journal of the American Medical Association supports this as well. It seems that kids from families who are involved with personal prayer and faith communities are less likely to use drugs. They are also less likely to become sexually active or have low self-esteem.
 
Children draw a large amount of strength and comfort from their family. Encourage them often, let them know their worth, and love them no matter what. Their self-esteem will grow as a result.

By Drew Edwards, EdD, MS
Reviewed by Trenda Hedges, BS, CRSS, Recovery Team Manager, Beacon Health Options

Summary

Robbers of self-esteem:

  • Body image
  • Being picked on or bullied in school
  • Early romantic involvement

Many parents, counselors, and educators talk about how to give self-esteem to children and teens. There are countless books on the subject by so-called experts. But there is very little proof that we can teach or give self-esteem to another. But, we can encourage it. 

What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem is the way we see ourselves. Healthy self-esteem comes from knowing that you are loved and have a purpose in the world. Children who feel safe with their parents develop the belief that they are worthy of love and attention. They learn to love themselves because their parents loved them first. This sense of security translates into the confidence to try new things. It also helps overcome frustration and develop good friendships. When this occurs, they simply “feel good” about life. Kids who have healthy self-esteem shine like a bright light.

Self-esteem takes root in childhood. That is when we learn that our family loves us in spite of our faults and shortcomings. And, at the same time encourage us to do our best. Those with healthy self-esteem live their life with worthy goals, values, and morals. When they stray from this path, as everyone does, their self-esteem lowers. Feelings of failure and guilt are not symptoms of low self-esteem. They are painful reminders that serve to correct unhealthy choices as we strive to make better choices. Accepting ourselves for who we are, while at the same time striving to improve is a sign of healthy self-esteem.

The teen years

Good self-esteem helps children make good choices about life and behavior. Teens with good self-esteem are less likely to follow the crowd and do something dumb or dangerous. Good self-esteem includes the confidence and ability to make right choices. Studies show that teens with high self-esteem are less likely to use drugs or alcohol.

Robbers of self-esteem

During the preteen and teen years self-esteem is fragile. Trying to fit in and be accepted is a big challenge. Here are some things that can hurt self-esteem.

  1. Kids whose parents divorce may feel unlovable or to blame for their parents’ problems.
  2. Body image. A teen who feels too fat or too thin may believe that she isn't good enough. This is especially true for girls.
  3. Being picked on or bullied in school.
  4. Failure in something important like not making the soccer team or getting bad grades.
  5. Early romantic involvement. Many teens get into relationships too fast and end up being hurt or rejected. The wounds from rejection in early life can be very damaging.

Families, faith, and self-esteem

Most children wonder about big questions. These can include "Where did I come from?" and "Why am I here?" It helps all those whose family attends church, synagogue or mosque, to have the reasons for attending explained. This is very true with children. In other words, what the belief or purpose is and why. As people, it is often helpful to know we are connected to others with similar beliefs and values. This can instill an appreciation of traditions and the importance of being part of a larger community.

You can help a child’s self-esteem by letting him know that a higher being has a plan for his life. Pray for and with your children. A study from The Journal of the American Medical Association supports this as well. It seems that kids from families who are involved with personal prayer and faith communities are less likely to use drugs. They are also less likely to become sexually active or have low self-esteem.
 
Children draw a large amount of strength and comfort from their family. Encourage them often, let them know their worth, and love them no matter what. Their self-esteem will grow as a result.

By Drew Edwards, EdD, MS
Reviewed by Trenda Hedges, BS, CRSS, Recovery Team Manager, Beacon Health Options

Summary

Robbers of self-esteem:

  • Body image
  • Being picked on or bullied in school
  • Early romantic involvement

Many parents, counselors, and educators talk about how to give self-esteem to children and teens. There are countless books on the subject by so-called experts. But there is very little proof that we can teach or give self-esteem to another. But, we can encourage it. 

What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem is the way we see ourselves. Healthy self-esteem comes from knowing that you are loved and have a purpose in the world. Children who feel safe with their parents develop the belief that they are worthy of love and attention. They learn to love themselves because their parents loved them first. This sense of security translates into the confidence to try new things. It also helps overcome frustration and develop good friendships. When this occurs, they simply “feel good” about life. Kids who have healthy self-esteem shine like a bright light.

Self-esteem takes root in childhood. That is when we learn that our family loves us in spite of our faults and shortcomings. And, at the same time encourage us to do our best. Those with healthy self-esteem live their life with worthy goals, values, and morals. When they stray from this path, as everyone does, their self-esteem lowers. Feelings of failure and guilt are not symptoms of low self-esteem. They are painful reminders that serve to correct unhealthy choices as we strive to make better choices. Accepting ourselves for who we are, while at the same time striving to improve is a sign of healthy self-esteem.

The teen years

Good self-esteem helps children make good choices about life and behavior. Teens with good self-esteem are less likely to follow the crowd and do something dumb or dangerous. Good self-esteem includes the confidence and ability to make right choices. Studies show that teens with high self-esteem are less likely to use drugs or alcohol.

Robbers of self-esteem

During the preteen and teen years self-esteem is fragile. Trying to fit in and be accepted is a big challenge. Here are some things that can hurt self-esteem.

  1. Kids whose parents divorce may feel unlovable or to blame for their parents’ problems.
  2. Body image. A teen who feels too fat or too thin may believe that she isn't good enough. This is especially true for girls.
  3. Being picked on or bullied in school.
  4. Failure in something important like not making the soccer team or getting bad grades.
  5. Early romantic involvement. Many teens get into relationships too fast and end up being hurt or rejected. The wounds from rejection in early life can be very damaging.

Families, faith, and self-esteem

Most children wonder about big questions. These can include "Where did I come from?" and "Why am I here?" It helps all those whose family attends church, synagogue or mosque, to have the reasons for attending explained. This is very true with children. In other words, what the belief or purpose is and why. As people, it is often helpful to know we are connected to others with similar beliefs and values. This can instill an appreciation of traditions and the importance of being part of a larger community.

You can help a child’s self-esteem by letting him know that a higher being has a plan for his life. Pray for and with your children. A study from The Journal of the American Medical Association supports this as well. It seems that kids from families who are involved with personal prayer and faith communities are less likely to use drugs. They are also less likely to become sexually active or have low self-esteem.
 
Children draw a large amount of strength and comfort from their family. Encourage them often, let them know their worth, and love them no matter what. Their self-esteem will grow as a result.

By Drew Edwards, EdD, MS
Reviewed by Trenda Hedges, BS, CRSS, Recovery Team Manager, Beacon Health Options

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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