Ivana Pejakovic, B.Sc., MA
One of the top priorities for many parents is to raise children with a healthy level of self-esteem. Most parents know self-esteem is important for just about every aspect of children’s lives, including how they function at school and how they will function in the workplace, how they deal with peers and how they will deal with colleagues, friends, and spouse, how much they can achieve as children and how much they are likely to achieve as adults, etc.
Unfortunately, many parents are not aware of what healthy self-esteem really entails. Self-esteem is not just about liking oneself and blowing kisses into the mirror. Self-esteem is also about how confident one is in his/her ability to think for him/ herself, to face life’s challenges, and to approach opportunities that are presented to him/her. It is one’s confidence in his/her right to be successful, happy, and worthy of all the good stuff in life.
In short, parents need to raise children to trust their ability to think and to have a firm belief in their worth and their right to happiness.
How to identify high and low self-esteem
Teens with a higher self-esteem have different behavioural patterns than teens with lower self-esteem. Below are a few clues to the level of your child’s self-esteem. Pay attention to behaviour and thinking patterns you see in the everyday life of your child.
Persistence: Teens with healthy self-esteem believe in themselves and are more likely to persist when challenges come along. Teens with a lower self-esteem are less likely to try challenging tasks, and if they do try, never really giving it their all. They have already made up their mind they will not succeed.
Respect: Teens with high self-esteem will demonstrate respect for themselves and others and will expect others to treat them with equal value. When others do not treat them as they expect, they are likely to go find people who will.
Opportunities: Teens with higher self-esteem are willing to be proactive, try new things and as a result, come across new opportunities that will help them succeed.
Able to manage change: Change is constant. Teens with lower self-esteem prefer familiarity. They have a harder time adjusting to new circumstances as they tend to lack self-trust. Teens with higher self-esteem believe they have the skills to tackle the new conditions of life.
Independence: Teens with healthy self-esteem prefer thinking for themselves, making their own choices, and have an easier time accepting responsibilities for their actions. They understand their mistake is not impinging on their self-worth.
Embrace Creativity: Teens with higher self-esteem have the courage to follow their internal signals and are less susceptible to others’ beliefs and ideas. While others will inspire them, they will follow their own thoughts and insights.
Need help improving your teen’s self-esteem? Contact Life Coach in Toronto, Ivana Pejakovic, and find out how you can help your child become happy, independent, and successful.