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RoseRed135

Self-Esteem

9 posts in this topic

Do you believe it's important to help children build self-esteem? Or do you feel that just leads to a sense of "entitlement?" Or ??

Edited by RoseRed135
typo

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I think self-esteem leads to self confidence.

My GD stands out in a crowd no matter what she does.  She is about  5'10" right now and she just turned 14 during the summer.  Her mom is barely 5'4" and her Dad is about 6'2".  She is a big girl and smart as a whip.  I am so glad that she has enough self confidence to wear 3 or 4 inch heels on her size 11 feet.  She speaks up in class and isn't afraid to let everybody know that she has the answers.  She even turned down a date for home coming because she wasn't interested in dating much less "that" boy.

Self-esteem and self confidence are both really important and should be encouraged.

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I think self esteem is one of those concepts that are often misunderstood, IMO. Self esteem isn't built by praising kids for every little thing they do, or telling a child how smart, pretty, great, ect. they are. Self esteem comes when you work at something, when you persist even if it's hard for you, when you get back up and try again after a fall. It comes when you know you accomplished a task like learning to read, riding a bike, giving a speech, baking a cake, ect. when you weren't sure you could do it. We help build self esteem by encouraging our kids to keep trying and praising effort and recognizing work. Everybody probably knows a kid whose parents or grandparents go on and on about how smart the kid is and how their teachers are just awful because the kid doesn't get "A's". And the fact is that smart isn't enough, school work has to be completed on time and turned in, the assignments done correctly and so on. Real work is involved. And everyone knows, even kids, when they have actually worked at something or just done enough to slide on through.

Sorry about the rant, it's just a topic that gets me going!

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3 hours ago, SueSTx said:

She is a big girl and smart as a whip.  I am so glad that she has enough self confidence to wear 3 or 4 inch heels on her size 11 feet. 

This is my grandmother reincarnate! Try being 5'10" in 1917 (the year she turned 14!). She was a woman of beauty. intelligence and strong character at a time when it was politically incorrect to be German or tall. She did defense work in the shipyards in WWII then went to work entry level at Bank of America World Headquarters in 1946...by the time she retired she was a department head with her little country school education. She dressed to work in the City every single day in heels on her size 11 feet...my cousins used to wait for her at the bus stop to walk home with her because they just wanted to be seen with her!

I find that building a child's genuine self esteem builds confidence so they learn to work & play well with others. If the parents are always telling their child how wonderful they do everything and are so perfect all the time it's really easy for the child to get that sense of entitlement...like getting a trophy just for being on the team...

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Sometimes, I think we forget to phrase my GD because she does things so well we have grown to expect her to do well in everything.  She has never been athletic, and around here those are the kids who are admired and applauded.

We have never been a family who thinks everybody should get a throphy for participation.  She does have her share of academic awards, and most are for first place.

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Honestly, I think in today's society confidence is rare because encouragement is rare- I think there's a huge difference between "building self esteem" and encouraging- To me "building self esteem" makes it sound like that person who is being "built up" is identified as or labeled as less right out of the gate- Whereas when a person is encouraged, they themselves do the work, become confident in their abilities, themselves and build up their self esteem on their own- I do think trying to build someone else's self esteem involves instant gratification activities and results in a sense of entitlement-  

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On 9/12/2017 at 3:26 PM, SueSTx said:

  She does have her share of academic awards, and most are for first place.

Kudos to your GD, Sue!

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On 9/12/2017 at 0:40 PM, Mame925 said:

 

I find that building a child's genuine self esteem builds confidence so they learn to work & play well with others. If the parents are always telling their child how wonderful they do everything and are so perfect all the time it's really easy for the child to get that sense of entitlement...

... or to begin to doubt, IMO, since, at some level, many kids know they're not "perfect" at everything.

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In their book How to Talk So Kids Will Listen a & Listen So Kids Will Talk, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish say that descriptive praise is better than a mere evaluation. IOWs, according to them, exclaiming "Beautiful!" about a child's drawing or "Great job!" isn't as effective as saying something like, "I love the bright colors!" etc.

Personally, I try to be specific that way w/ my praise when I give it. But it doesn't always seem to come naturally - so much easier just to say, "Wonderful!" etc. Does it really make all that much difference in your opinion?

Thoughts?

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