Fostering Self-esteem in Children

Reviewed May 26, 2017

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Summary

Create an environment where love is unconditional, responsibility is shared, virtues are rewarded, and mistakes are forgiven.

The wonder and innocence of childhood is a fragile and fleeting thing. The turns and tangles of the world beyond their parent’s arms can be harsh and complex for children. The cultural pressure on children to abandon their innocence and grow up fast is enormous—and wrought with countless trials and tears. Self-esteem is the consequence of how we cope, what we believe, how we were raised and, most importantly, how we live. 

Children who have healthy self-esteem generally lead happier, more hopeful, more productive, and more fulfilled lives than those who do not. Those with a healthy sense of who they are look to the future with greater confidence and enjoy more satisfying relationships in the present.

The challenge for parents can seem insurmountable. No one can give self-esteem to another. But parents have the opportunity, like no one else, to create an environment where love is unconditional, responsibility is shared, virtues are rewarded, and mistakes are forgiven. These are the foundations of a family built for nurturing self-esteem in children. 

What is self-esteem?

At its core, self-esteem is the way we view and value ourselves. It's the inner confidence and trust that says, we're important, that others accept and even love us, that we're capable of making a significant contribution to the world, and that we have a purpose in life. We all possess a powerful, innate need to feel a sense of worth to ourselves and to others. It gives us a reason to get up in the morning. It also supplies the courage to take risks, persevere when we fail, and pursue meaningful friendships and healthy intimacy with loved ones. Healthy self-esteem—the belief that "I'm loved. I'm accepted. I have value and worth and a place in this world"—gives a child confidence, hope, and the strength to deal with life's ups and downs. 

What does self-esteem look like?

  • The child with a good self-image sees a world full of possibilities, not just problems.
  • He's willing to try new things because he knows that no matter how they turn out, he is still a loved and valued person.
  • She's able to give others kindness and respect because she feels no need to make herself look better by putting them down.
  • He has confidence that he'll be able to use the gifts and talents he has received to build a meaningful and fulfilling life.

The foundation of self-esteem: unconditional love

The essential ingredient of healthy self-esteem is unconditional love. All children need to know that someone loves and accepts them just as they are—the bad as well as the good, the weaknesses as well as the strengths, the failures as well as the successes. Children need to know that no matter what they do, no matter how smart they are or are not, and no matter what they look like, at least one person in this world will always stand by them, believe in them, and love them unconditionally.

In early life, children who feel safe and warm in the warmth of their parents’ arms, develop the belief that they are worthy of love and attention. They learn to love themselves because their parents loved them first.

This self-love sense of security translates into the courage and confidence they need to try new things, overcome frustration, master challenges, and develop satisfying friendships. When they accomplish these things they “feel good” and act happy.

So healthy self-esteem is the result of a dynamic, threefold process:

  • Parents must create a physical, intellectual, and emotional environment where their child feels safe and loved unconditionally, with plenty of challenges and opportunities for success.
  • The child must try, fail, and succeed on his own.
  • Parents must encourage and praise their efforts and progress, and show love even when they fail. 

When we love our children unconditionally, we unleash their potential and empower them to face whatever life might throw at them. 

By Drew Edwards, MS

Summary

Create an environment where love is unconditional, responsibility is shared, virtues are rewarded, and mistakes are forgiven.

The wonder and innocence of childhood is a fragile and fleeting thing. The turns and tangles of the world beyond their parent’s arms can be harsh and complex for children. The cultural pressure on children to abandon their innocence and grow up fast is enormous—and wrought with countless trials and tears. Self-esteem is the consequence of how we cope, what we believe, how we were raised and, most importantly, how we live. 

Children who have healthy self-esteem generally lead happier, more hopeful, more productive, and more fulfilled lives than those who do not. Those with a healthy sense of who they are look to the future with greater confidence and enjoy more satisfying relationships in the present.

The challenge for parents can seem insurmountable. No one can give self-esteem to another. But parents have the opportunity, like no one else, to create an environment where love is unconditional, responsibility is shared, virtues are rewarded, and mistakes are forgiven. These are the foundations of a family built for nurturing self-esteem in children. 

What is self-esteem?

At its core, self-esteem is the way we view and value ourselves. It's the inner confidence and trust that says, we're important, that others accept and even love us, that we're capable of making a significant contribution to the world, and that we have a purpose in life. We all possess a powerful, innate need to feel a sense of worth to ourselves and to others. It gives us a reason to get up in the morning. It also supplies the courage to take risks, persevere when we fail, and pursue meaningful friendships and healthy intimacy with loved ones. Healthy self-esteem—the belief that "I'm loved. I'm accepted. I have value and worth and a place in this world"—gives a child confidence, hope, and the strength to deal with life's ups and downs. 

What does self-esteem look like?

  • The child with a good self-image sees a world full of possibilities, not just problems.
  • He's willing to try new things because he knows that no matter how they turn out, he is still a loved and valued person.
  • She's able to give others kindness and respect because she feels no need to make herself look better by putting them down.
  • He has confidence that he'll be able to use the gifts and talents he has received to build a meaningful and fulfilling life.

The foundation of self-esteem: unconditional love

The essential ingredient of healthy self-esteem is unconditional love. All children need to know that someone loves and accepts them just as they are—the bad as well as the good, the weaknesses as well as the strengths, the failures as well as the successes. Children need to know that no matter what they do, no matter how smart they are or are not, and no matter what they look like, at least one person in this world will always stand by them, believe in them, and love them unconditionally.

In early life, children who feel safe and warm in the warmth of their parents’ arms, develop the belief that they are worthy of love and attention. They learn to love themselves because their parents loved them first.

This self-love sense of security translates into the courage and confidence they need to try new things, overcome frustration, master challenges, and develop satisfying friendships. When they accomplish these things they “feel good” and act happy.

So healthy self-esteem is the result of a dynamic, threefold process:

  • Parents must create a physical, intellectual, and emotional environment where their child feels safe and loved unconditionally, with plenty of challenges and opportunities for success.
  • The child must try, fail, and succeed on his own.
  • Parents must encourage and praise their efforts and progress, and show love even when they fail. 

When we love our children unconditionally, we unleash their potential and empower them to face whatever life might throw at them. 

By Drew Edwards, MS

Summary

Create an environment where love is unconditional, responsibility is shared, virtues are rewarded, and mistakes are forgiven.

The wonder and innocence of childhood is a fragile and fleeting thing. The turns and tangles of the world beyond their parent’s arms can be harsh and complex for children. The cultural pressure on children to abandon their innocence and grow up fast is enormous—and wrought with countless trials and tears. Self-esteem is the consequence of how we cope, what we believe, how we were raised and, most importantly, how we live. 

Children who have healthy self-esteem generally lead happier, more hopeful, more productive, and more fulfilled lives than those who do not. Those with a healthy sense of who they are look to the future with greater confidence and enjoy more satisfying relationships in the present.

The challenge for parents can seem insurmountable. No one can give self-esteem to another. But parents have the opportunity, like no one else, to create an environment where love is unconditional, responsibility is shared, virtues are rewarded, and mistakes are forgiven. These are the foundations of a family built for nurturing self-esteem in children. 

What is self-esteem?

At its core, self-esteem is the way we view and value ourselves. It's the inner confidence and trust that says, we're important, that others accept and even love us, that we're capable of making a significant contribution to the world, and that we have a purpose in life. We all possess a powerful, innate need to feel a sense of worth to ourselves and to others. It gives us a reason to get up in the morning. It also supplies the courage to take risks, persevere when we fail, and pursue meaningful friendships and healthy intimacy with loved ones. Healthy self-esteem—the belief that "I'm loved. I'm accepted. I have value and worth and a place in this world"—gives a child confidence, hope, and the strength to deal with life's ups and downs. 

What does self-esteem look like?

  • The child with a good self-image sees a world full of possibilities, not just problems.
  • He's willing to try new things because he knows that no matter how they turn out, he is still a loved and valued person.
  • She's able to give others kindness and respect because she feels no need to make herself look better by putting them down.
  • He has confidence that he'll be able to use the gifts and talents he has received to build a meaningful and fulfilling life.

The foundation of self-esteem: unconditional love

The essential ingredient of healthy self-esteem is unconditional love. All children need to know that someone loves and accepts them just as they are—the bad as well as the good, the weaknesses as well as the strengths, the failures as well as the successes. Children need to know that no matter what they do, no matter how smart they are or are not, and no matter what they look like, at least one person in this world will always stand by them, believe in them, and love them unconditionally.

In early life, children who feel safe and warm in the warmth of their parents’ arms, develop the belief that they are worthy of love and attention. They learn to love themselves because their parents loved them first.

This self-love sense of security translates into the courage and confidence they need to try new things, overcome frustration, master challenges, and develop satisfying friendships. When they accomplish these things they “feel good” and act happy.

So healthy self-esteem is the result of a dynamic, threefold process:

  • Parents must create a physical, intellectual, and emotional environment where their child feels safe and loved unconditionally, with plenty of challenges and opportunities for success.
  • The child must try, fail, and succeed on his own.
  • Parents must encourage and praise their efforts and progress, and show love even when they fail. 

When we love our children unconditionally, we unleash their potential and empower them to face whatever life might throw at them. 

By Drew Edwards, MS

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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