“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
What predicts views of self? There are three basic areas that predict the view on self: attachment, other people’s views, and competence. (Bergin)
There are signs to watch for in children that may have low self- esteem. If a student gives up easily, avoids task and challenges without effort, or has a loss of interest in usual activities; these could be warning signs for low self-esteem. Other signs to watch for are a negative sense of self, or always putting oneself down; difficulty accepting praise, and becoming strongly affected by negative influences surrounding him/her.
Research shows you can higher student’s self-esteem by following these guidelines:
Improve students’ competence in athletics, academics, or social skills. Improve students’ relationships with others and yourself. Recognize that self-concept is multifaceted. Be honest about academic achievement of your students. (Bergin)
While there are a variety of factors that influence and affect students’ self-esteem, one of the most altering influences are the parents and the home environment. The following is a simple list that can be elaborated and put into play in a variety of ways.
How parents can help self-esteem:
*be a positive role model.
*be careful what you say
*identify and redirect inaccurate beliefs
*be spontaneous and affectionate
*give positive, accurate feedback
*create a safe, loving home environment
*help kids become involved in constructive experiences
While this information primarily focused on self-esteem, it is of the upmost importance that influencing adults do not mistake overall self-esteem for specific self-concepts. The following is a great article showing an example of this misconception and how it can affect adults and peers. I suggest checking it out:
Bergin, C.C. & Bergin, D.A. (2012). Child and Adolescent Development in Your Classroom. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning
Elmore, Tim. “What Really Cultivates Self Esteem in Children.” Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, 19 09 2013. Web. 13 Nov 2013. <http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/artificial-maturity/201309/what-really-cultivates-self-esteem-in-students>.
New, Michelle. “Developing Your Child’s Self-Esteem.” Kid’s Health. The Nemours Foundation, n.d. Web. 10 Nov 2013. <http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/feelings/self_esteem.html>.
“Signs of Low Self-Esteem.” Healthy Children. 29 08 2013. Web. 13 Nov 2013. <http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/gradeschool/Pages/Signs-of-Low-Self-Esteem.asp&xgt;.
1. Can you think of a student that has high self-esteem, but maybe has a low self-concept for a particular area (reading, math, public speaking)? Describe the actions related to this particular area.
2. What characteristics of low self-esteem do you see in your students? Do you notice it affecting certain aspects of their life?
3. What characteristics of high self-esteem do you see in your students? Are these characteristics a positive addition to your classroom environment? Why or why not?
4. What areas of self-esteem would you like to work on within your classroom environment? How do you think you could address these areas?