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Self Esteem in Young Children

Essay by   •  March 21, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  1,618 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,980 Views

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Self-esteem is the value we place on ourselves. It is the feeling we have about all the things we see ourselves to be. It is the knowledge that we are lovable, we are capable, and creating a sense of industry in all aspects of a child's life. Good self-esteem means: having a healthy view of you, having a quiet sense of self-worth, having a positive outlook, and feeling satisfied with you most of the time, setting realistic goals, and the ability to be competent. Both adults and children benefit from good relationships, experiences and positive thinking. Self -esteem is developed through peers, parents, culture, social surroundings and media. Each aspect affects a child's physical, social-emotional and cognitive development.

Self- esteem is defined as a realistic respect for or favorable impression of oneself; self-respect (Dictionary.com, 2012) Self-esteem is a person's understanding of how valuable he or she is in the world. School - age children ask questions like, "Do people like me? Do my parents love me? What abilities and traits do I have that are important to others?" Once these questions are answered in a positive way, the child develops trust, security, and a sense of self-worth, which promotes confidence and a feeling of being valued (a sense of industry). Many psychologists consider self-esteem to be the single most important factor in shaping a person's life. Researchers have found that people who have high self esteem know they are loved and capable and view themselves as worthy. Self-esteem is a family affair. It is in the family that we first decide who we are and how to be that way. Therefore, parents--and other primary caregivers--are powerful examples in the development of high self-esteem in children. Parents and caregiver who praise a child and create a positive sense of industry will increase a child's self-esteem (Brooks, 2012) Children's need for parental approval and acceptance is based on their self-worthy and self-confidences. (Schweiger, 2008) When parents encourage children with positive reinforcement children see them as worthy. Negative parental responses will cause the child to develop negative self-image and low self-esteem. Some responses include such things as name-calling or labeling, rejection, threats, overgeneralizations, disinterest in a child's interests (Brooks, 2012). Self -esteem is also influenced by peers, teachers and media; these factors affect a child's self-worth and positive self image (Berns, 2010). Acceptance in one's group, and confidence of one's best friend, can go a long way toward building a sense of competence. Children's self-esteem may also be affected by the structure of the classroom and the school (Schweiger, 2008). Factors such as competition, cultural diversity and the school's respect of cultural differences can have an insightful effect on a child's self-esteem.

Self-esteem plays a big role on a child's physical development. A child's self-esteem and physical development is mostly based on the way the child views their body image. If a child portrays a high self-esteem they may be more likely to participate in physical activities like any type of sports and also feels very good about the way they look. When a child has this type of confidence about themselves they are more likely to try out new things without feeling ashamed about doing it wrong on the first time. This is because the child has developed a good sense of industry (Sherfield, 2004). This type of behaviour is built by always encouraging a child to keep trying and practicing the task that they have trouble with. Being on sports teams will encourage a child to develop a higher self-esteem because they will be able to get encouragement by teammates and the coach and they will also be able to practice the skills as well. On the other hand there may be children who have a really low self-esteem who doesn't want to participate in any physical activities because they don't feel confident in themselves. These children tend to sit out on physical activities because they fear the negative comments people will say if they are not able to do the same things that the other children are doing. "If given to self- critical thoughts such as "I'm not good" or "I can't so anything right", they may become passive, withdrawn, or depressed." (Kids Health, 2012). The children who feel this way tend not to participate in physical activity because they are underestimating their capabilities and are afraid to try new things. It is very important to always encourage a child to take part in physical activity not only to promote good health for the children but to also make them feel good about themselves. The media has been a very big impact on the way children believe they should look. Seeing celebrities and models in the media

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