How to Develop Self-Esteem in Children - By J. Bailey Molineux, Ph.D.
There are two goals that all parents should have for their children. The first is
self-esteem, the sense that one is a lovable, worthwhile individual. Without it,
a person cannot find satisfaction in life or relationships, especially marriages.
The second is a sense of morality, the courage to do what is morally right and
refrain from doing what is morally wrong. If most parents do not instill this in
their children, we would not be able to function as a civilized society.
Eugene Anderson, ED.D., George Redman, Ph.D. and Charlotte Rogers, Ph.D. in their
book, "Self-Esteem for Tots to Teens" (Parenting and Teaching Publications, 1991),
describe five principles for developing self-esteem in children and adolescents.
The first is to acknowledge and listen to their thoughts and emotions since they
are so much a part of who they are. Listening to you offspring with empathy says
you care about what they think and feel. Plus it will create an atmosphere in which
they will be more willing to listen to you.
You don`t always have to agree with your kids when you listen to them, nor let
them do whatever they want. You can have a different view on a situation and still
understand their perspective. And you may still have to discipline them even if
you better understand why they misbehaved.
The second principle, which should be self-evident, is to structure situations
so your children experience more success than failure. Don`t expect standards of
performance which they cannot achieve. You want them to grow up with far more praise
than criticism, more accomplishments than failures.
Third, give your children some degree of control over their lives. When they
are younger, they can choose what clothes to wear, for example, as long as they
are appropriate for the weather. Or what breakfast cereal to choose. When older,
they can choose what courses to take in high school or what college to attend.
Too much control sends the message that your children can`t adequately handle
their lives. Too little control sends the message you don`t care, so you must strike
a balance between these two extremes and give them more freedom as they grow older.
Fourth, let your children know they are lovable and capable. Again, this is a
self-evident principle. You should give your children daily expressions of affection
- hugs, kisses, words of love, praise and appreciation. Think of them as cups of
love which you want to fill with as much caring as you can.
Finally, model good self-esteem yourself. To me, this is one of the more important
principles since you can`t give to your children what you don`t grant to yourself:
self-love. Research is clear that high self-esteem parents have high self-esteem
kids whereas parents who are low in self-esteem have kids who are low in self-esteem
There are no guarantees that if you follow these principles your children will
grow up to feel good about themselves since there are factors in self-esteem development
over which you have little control - their physical attractiveness, peer relations,
intellectual abilities or athletic abilities, as examples. But I can guarantee they`ll
have a poorer chance of developing good self-esteem if you don`t follow these principles.
After all, your unconditional love and support is the most important ingredient
in their mental health.
About the Author: J. Bailey Molineux,
a psychologist with Adult and Child Counseling, has incorporated many of his articles
in a book, Loving Isn`t Easy, Isbn 1587410419, sold through bookstores everywhere
or available directly from http://selfhelpbooks.com.
Copyright 2002, J. Bailey Molineux and http://selfhelpbooks.com,
all rights reserved. This article may be reprinted but must include authors copyright
and website hyperlinks.
An Exponential Idea In Giving - by Dalene Entenmann
Here`s an exponential idea for our time. What if, each time someone did
a good deed for someone else, the good deed was paid back by paying it forward to
three additional people? In turn, each day, each person, having received a good
deed, did a good deed for three more people.
According to the Pay It Forward, www.payitforward.com, a movie scheduled to premiere
in theaters in October 2000 and based on the novel by Catherine Ryan Hyde, in just
two weeks 4,782,969 people will have been touched by the pay it forward principle.
Pay It Forward tells the story of Trevor McKinney, a 12-year-old boy whose extra
credit social studies assignment is to come up with an idea for making this world
a better place.
McKinney comes up with an idea for a single act of goodness compounding into
many acts of goodness and the pay it forward principle is set into action. "It doesn`t
even have to be a big thing. It might just seem like a big thing. Depending on who
you do it for."
McKinney is a fictional character who will hopefully inspire anyone meeting him
in the pages of a book to practice the pay it forward principle but more inspiring
are the real life kids whose simple and profound ideas of making this world a better
place are put into action each day.
Clinton Hill founded Kids For Saving Earth, www.kidsforsavingearth.org, as a
club for kids dedicated to peaceful Earth-saving actions. The mission of Kids For
Saving Earth is to educate, inspire and empower children to protect the Earth`s
environment and provides great action-oriented educational materials to kids, parents,
family groups, teachers, classrooms and schools. He was taken by cancer at the age
of 11 and his mother continues his idea and work on his behalf.
Craig Kielburger, now 16, founded Free the Children,
www.freethechildren.org, an international
children`s organization whose mission is to free children from poverty and exploitation
and to empower young people to become leaders in their communities. At the age of
12, he became an advocate for children`s rights after he read about the murder of
a child from Pakistan who had been sold into bondage as a carpet weaver.
KIDS Walk for Homeless Kids, www.kidswalk.org,
was founded when a child, having met a homeless person and learning that many of
the homeless are kids, had a vision of kids making a difference in the lives of
homeless kids by creating an event to raise funds. KIDS Walk for Homeless Kids is
in it`s third year of raising money to help homeless kids.
Catherine Ryan Hyde has established the Pay It Forward Foundation,
to inspire school-age kids in realizing that their ideas can indeed change the world
and provide them with the opportunities to put those ideas into action. For kids
interested in making this world a better place, locally or globally, here are some
steps on how to get started:
Choose a project. This can be an idea that comes from hearing about a need or
encountering someone in need. It can come from conversations with your family and
friends. Decide on something that makes you think, as Winnie the Pooh pondered,
"and I would ask myself if there weren`t something that could be done about that
sort of thing". Something that you feel in your heart needs to be improved for the
benefit of others. If you feel this way about your idea, so will others. Involve
others. Tell your parents, teachers, family members and friends of your idea and
ask if they will be interested in helping you. Often others will have ideas, contacts
and resources to add to the successful start of your idea. Involve the community.
Contact local associations, organizations, churches, clubs and businesses who might
be interested in helping with your idea. Write to the local newspapers and any other
local publications to tell them who you are, what you are doing, why you are doing
it, where it will take place and when any special events are being planned. Call
local radio and television stations to let them know. Most of all, never become
discouraged if what you would like to make better seems so much bigger than you.
Believe in yourself and your idea. One person can make this world a better place.
It is the exponential effect of giving and good deeds.
Dalene Entenmann is a professional
freelance writer and has been working as a web manager/web content provider specializing
in web concept design since 1997. You can visit Ms. Entenmann at Spiritual Sisters
of the Internet Cafe at www.spiritualsisters.com,
Newberg Kids For The Creativity and Spirit Of Kids at
www.newbergkids.com and Hope and Healing
webChronicles at www.hopeandhealing.com.
You may email Dalene at SpiritualSisters@aol.com
Children articles index
- Brains on Fire: The Multimodality of Gifted Thinkers - By Brock Eide
- laying Baby Computer Games ? The New Parent-Child Tradition? - By Emma
- Book Excerpt: Einstein Never Used Flash Cards - By Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Ph
- Putting Fun Into Parenting - By David Stoepker, Psy.D., & Erin Brown Con
- Preparing Your Child for a High-Tech Future - By Sue Sato
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - Predominantly Inattentive
- Abandonment - By Sonya Green
- Explaining Suicide to Children - by Tracy Pierson
- Our Children`s Needs - by Robert Elias Najemy
- How to Develop Self-Esteem in Children - By J. Bailey Molineux, Ph.D.
- Helping Children Overcome Stress and Fear - By Debbie Milam
- Do you Shout at YOUR children? - By James Middleton
- Book Excerpt: Helping Children with Autism Learn - By Bryna Siegel,
- SPEED SPELLING: Another way to use speed reading skills for "schoolwork&q
- Children and Stress - By Laura Silva Quesada
- Boundaries- Why Are They Needed? - by Derek Randel & Gail Randel M.D.
- Juggling Home
- Explaining World tragedy to Children - By Chick Moorman and Thomas Ha
- Children and Pessimism - By Carol Tuttle
- Loving Yourself, Loving Your Children - By Margaret Paul, Ph.D.
- Social Manners for Children - By Susan Dunn, The EQ Coach
- The Sexual Abuse of Children - By J. Bailey Molineux
- A Few Simple Truths About ADHD and Stimulant Drugs - By Steve Edelman1,
- DYSLEXICS and A.D.D. KIDS BECOME GIFTED SPEED READERS - by George Stanc
- Using Feng Shui for Better Behaved Children - By Kathryn Weber
- Book Excerpt: Helping Children with Autism Learn - By Bryna Siegel,
- Five Keys to Raising Nonviolent Children - By Tammy Cox, LMSW
- The Best Way to Reduce Stress: Start Young - By Zach Brull
- Your Child?s Self-Esteem is in The Cards - By Susan Howson
- Calming Tips for Hyperactive Children - By Jeannine Virtue
- What is ADHD? - By Jeannine Virtue
- Talking to Your Children About Sex - By Jan Andersen
- How Our Children Really Learn And Why They Need To Play More And Memo
- HOW DO WE PROTECT OUR CHILDREN FROM PREDATORS? - By Linda J Alexander,
- Teach Children Positive Self-Image Through Fitness - By Lynn Bode
- No Invitation Needed -- Part 3 of 3 Sacred Children Series - By Skye T
- Helping Our Children Feel Good About Themselves - By Dr.Barbara Becker Hol
- Unidentified Stepfamily Zones - Discoveries Made at a Stepfamily Confer
- Divorce and Children: Things To Consider When You`re Staying Married
- Six facts you should know to empower your teaching. - By Emmanuel
- Are You in an Abusive Situation? - by Colin Gabriel Hatcher & Randall
- The Divorce Revolution Has Failed - By J. Bailey Molineux
- Is Your Child Well-Mannered? - By Mary Jesse
- Jesus` Birthday -- Part 2 of 3 Sacred Children Series - By Skye T
- Empty Nesters: What Should You Do Once the Children Leave? - By Mary Guar
- We should celebrate the diversity of children and adults - By Robyn M
- How to Cope with Back to School Stress - By Debbie Mandel
- HIS KIDS: BECOMING A W.O.W. STEPMOTHER - by Julie Donner Andersen
- ADD / ADHD Children : Being Your Child`s Best Friend - By Kate Hufst