Individual, Adolescent, and
Self Esteem: How do I feel about who I am? Self Esteem is how well we know ourselves. Self-knowledge develops over time as we face our fears and learn from our experiences. It originates in our families of origin, we do not inherit it. A young child’s primary lessons and experiences at home are the foundation from which all else derives. It is within the family that the child first learns who he or she is and what is expected of him or her. It is within the family that a young person forms the human bonds that to a large extent influence all subsequent relationships.
Parents are the best teachers of self esteem. How can you make a child feel lovable and capable? Research offers a variety of strategies but many include developing good communication, appreciating the uniqueness of each child, setting limits and expectations and fostering a sense of responsibility. A child with a healthy self esteem will act independently, assume responsibility easily, tolerate frustration well, approach new challenges with enthusiasm and exhibit a broad range of emotions and feelings. A child with unhealthy self esteem will demean his own talents, feel that others don’t value him/her, blame others for his/her own weaknesses, be easily influenced by others, become defensive and easily frustrated, exhibit a narrow range of emotions and feelings.
Unfortunately, sometimes due to our own family of origin issues, we as parents do not know how to foster this sense of healthy self esteem. There are many books on the topic of self esteem and professionals who can coach on what parents can do to strengthen their own self esteem to become a better model for their children. It is never too late to begin the process.
Oftentimes seeing the entire family together is helpful in understanding family systems and an approach favored by The Hellenic Therapy Center. This approach has demonstrated positive results for parents, children, adolescents and teens.