Moms have you heard “ I am stupid—I will never learn this—I always give the wrong answer” —come out of your children’s mouth? Part 1 of my search for understanding Self-Esteem.
From the very beginning I poured my love into each of my children. Showering them with affection, compliments and positive reinforcement I thought were the foundation of self –esteem. According to Webster’s dictionary Self–esteem is defined as confidence and satisfaction in oneself.
Recent events in my life are making me question how I approached this difficult skill of building self-esteem in my children.
For one of my kids, learning and memorizing does not come easily. A lot of mental preparation, work, and persistence is required to get information stored in their brain. Praising my child every time they give the right answer, rewarding them for their efforts; or emphasizing the things they are great in has proven to add little in building a healthy dose of self-esteem.
Why, because going to school every day feels like climbing a mountain for my child. Their internal feelings of….I am stupid, inadequate, embarrassed, frustrated, are in their metaphorical backpack weighing them down every day; with very little, or in some cases no tools preparing them for the harsh journey ahead.
As a Mom, my first instinct was of course this makes sense. After all, how would I feel if I was being asked to do something every day that I wasn’t good at? My second instinct was to go and research this area. I wanted to know—Are there tools I could learn to help them develop higher self-esteem? I wanted to know the sighs of low self-esteem? How does my child handle adversity?
What I found helped me understand our situation a little better. I recognized that what I’ve done so far to help with their self-esteem has been wonderful, but perhaps needs to be altered a little bit.
I realized that being informed was the first step in our journey up this mountain. Stay tuned for part two of this topic in next week’s blog post as I try to answer these questions.