Monday, April 13, 2009

Mission 4 Monday- Build A Childs Self Esteem

Building a child's self-esteem helps a child to function successfully in life. On the other hand, a child who feels unwanted, unappreciated or unloved can suffer from depression, act out violently, abuse drugs and alcohol, develop an eating disorder, become pregnant, drop out of school, or even commit suicide, according to the National Association for Self-Esteem.
"What's wrong with you?" "You're not good at that." "Why did you do it that way?" Few people realize that such simple words can have a devastating, life-long effect on a child's self-esteem.
Low self-esteem is shaped early in life. Unfortunately, the well-meaning adults in a child's life may actually have the most negative impact: the parent with unrealistically high expectations who may unconsciously belittle a child's accomplishments, the teacher who doesn't give enough encouragement when it's needed, and the caregiver who doesn't show affection. Additionally, the classmate who bullies may also chip away at a child's healthy self-esteem.
Self worth can also be influenced by society with its many messages of "must haves" and unattainable standards. For instance, a
low self-esteem child may start to feel ugly or fat when comparing himself or herself to a celebrity whose photo has been airbrushed to perfection.
Low self-esteem often perpetuates the vicious cycle of "self-fulfilling prophecies."
Perhaps a child believes he is not a good swimmer so he stays away from that activity and any event that might involve swimming. He decides that since he isn't good at it, why take the risk in the first place if the outcome will most likely be failure. Of course, by removing himself from the situation, there is no way he can improve, grow, and
build self-esteem.
Self-esteem is what we believe to be true about ourselves. And it is these core self-beliefs that determine how well a child copes with life's triumphs and disappointments.
While you can't control all the events and influences in a child's life, you can play an important role in helping a child feel good about who he is and build better self-esteem.
Oprah credits her fourth-grade teacher as the person who made her believe in herself. Senator John McCain says it was his football coach who changed his life. You don't have to be related to a child to help them build their self-esteem!

If you spend time with a child as a neighbor, family friend, babysitter, teacher, team coach, etc., you can make a positive impact on a child's life. Here are some tips to improving a child's self-esteem:
Listen. Give a child your undivided attention when he or she speaks to you.
Give praise and encouragement. Take genuine pride in a child's achievement big and small. When a child succeeds let them know how proud you are of them. When a child fails, encourage them to try again. Talk with them about the choices they made and what they could do differently. Share your own triumphs and failures. Most importantly, let a child know you appreciate their efforts no matter what the outcome is.
Make a child feel special. Together, write up a list of a child's accomplishments and the qualities that he or she like about themselves. Post it in a prominent place for all to see.
E-mentor a child.
E-mentoring takes place over the Internet, allowing a mentor and a child to develop their relationship by communicating online. For instance, as an online Achievement Advocate, you can join parents and teachers in a team to support students in their efforts to set and meet goals for success.


sailorcross said...

This is so true, Denise, and thank you for directing us towards this. Self esteem does begin early in childhood, and without proper direction low self esteem can lead us to all kinds of destructive behavior.

A mission well worth considering.


April said...

What a great post, Denise, and one that everyone can learn from! Yes, building a child's self- esteem is so important to their overall development.

Hootin' Anni said...

This can me no more true!!! I've seen it a thousand times when I worked with the psychology department and dr.s offices.

A child NEEDS to know that they are loved and needs to know that what they do it good.

You really hit the nail on the head with this one, Denise.

eph2810 said...

What a cool idea that there now is a place for children to get encouraged. There are so many traps on the Internet these days, glad to read that there is also a positive place. Thank you so much for sharing this, Denise.
I really like the new look of your blog :)

Beth in NC said...

Great post Denise. I definitely try to watch my words with my daughter. Even though many years have passed since my childhood -- I remember the negative words, "You'll never be anything but a maid" or "I love you, but I don't like you" or "Kathy (my sister) is the sweet one."

Words are powerful. Life and DEATH are in the tongue. It definitely takes years to overcome such proclamations over our lives as children.

Thanks for sharing!

RCUBEs said...

I think that's why our prison systems are over-crowded. Most of the inmates are deprived of love, and didn't grow up in a positive environment. To drugs and alcohol they try to find that comfort. They commit crimes because growing up some of them never got the loving attention that is important with the molding of their character. God's's only God's love that will cover everything. And it's sad, many are still lost and haven't received His love in order for them to love others unconditionally. This is a timely post sister as many children are hurting and being hurt. God bless...

luvmy4sons said...

It may be semantics but I always say build a child's proper biblcial self respect! LOL! There ARE so many children without proper love and encouragment! A noble mission for sure!

MyJourneyBack said...

Oh Denise this was so beautiful to me. You know my mission to teens. It was just right on. So many kids need help. Thanks for sharing it today. Theres kids are our future.
Many Blessings,

Heather said...

what a great post Denise. this is so important. so important.

Debra said...

Hey sweet friend,

You are so right ... a kind word is so important and especially to a child.

Blessings to you today!

Lisa said...

I had a horrible self esteem when I was younger and I had wonderful parents, it was my own self who did not like myself. One day I finally realized I needed to change myself so I would meditate on positive things and things I wanted to change and researched how I could make those my weight, my career, my talents. I think that is why I have tried very hard to get my kids involved in one thing they can do and do well like hockey, piano and dance.....I think is it very essential for a child to feel they are good at something.
I did not have a real good church until I was 15. My pastors that I had until I was 15 were very negative....sorry to say but I roll my eyes still at them today in disgust at how they presented the gospel that old time fire and brimstone....all the time yuck. Thank God my kids are not growing up under that. Even my parents realize today the difference.

Samantha said...

Such a touching post, how important for a child. Have a truly, blessed Monday. You are a sweetheart !

LauraLee Shaw said...

Denise, this is SUCH incredible advice. Godly wisdom and insight. love it!

Also LOVING the look of your blog. It just keeps getting better and better.

Genejosh said...

nice post...very helpful for me as a new mom and a kindergarten teacher..may I be a blessing to my students

Alicia said...

What a great post, Denise.

Our words have the potential to build up or destroy.

I love your new layout, and I'm grabbing your button!!

bp said...

I've never heard of E-mentoring I don't think. I always enjoy the ideas you pass along on Mondays. Thanks!

Gretchen said...

What a great cause. Couldn't we all have used some self esteem building? I don't think a person can have too much.

Sandi said...

Thanks for sharing this. 2 years ago God told me I am to serve all children. They need us. This is a passion of mine.

Gail W. said...

Thank you for this reminder, Denise. I pray for children to have a strong sense of God-esteem. If we know how the Creator of the Universe sees us, we have a foundation for how we see ourselves. God bless you, Precious Sister - your words of love and encouragement are a great gift to me.

Marsha said...

You come up with the neatest mission ideas! Children today need positive reinforcement - BIBLICAL reinforcement. Paise God for Christian mentors that get involved in a mission like this to make a difference through Christ.

Peggy said...

Blessings Denise, Had internet problems but I'm so glad that I was able to come finally & read this excellent MISSION4MONDAY!!!

How simple this would be for more of us to do! What an ingenious way to be a positive influence.

Bless you & thank you for sharing this wonderful esteem builder. As a "former" elementary teacher, I know this would greatly benefit my classroom. Also, my 2 adopted kids would have benefited greatly. My son had a good self image but this added encouragement at school & in sports would have enhanced his life.

This was a great post & from the looks of the comments of so many that got here before me, a popular one! So true & very inspirational! I guess "A Woman Inspired" really blessed you & this shows your personal commitment to inspire others for the GOOD of kids! May God bless you Denise for your great love of kids!

Thanks for joining & linking up with MISSION 4 MONDAY!