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a person's core belief about himself or herself. A person's self-esteem is
reflected in his or her actions, both in how as well as what he or she does.
Although self-esteem varies from time to time, the pattern usually leans toward
a healthy or unhealthy view of self. With healthy self-esteem, a person is more
likely to succeed in life.
Although building self-esteem is a
lifelong process, the foundation of self-esteem is established in childhood.
That foundation can do much to help a child deal with difficult life issues as
they are encountered.
Parents have the greatest influence on a
child's belief about himself or herself. Letting your child know that he or she
belongs, is doing well, and is contributing can help him or her develop healthy
Keep these things in mind as you raise your
Developing a sense of belonging, learning, and contributing can help your
child develop healthy self-esteem. The following are ways you can help promote
this development in your child.
Through contact with others, we know
that we are loved and respected and that we belong. Use the following
suggestions to help your child feel he or she belongs within your
Although learning really takes place all
the time, plan to create a learning opportunity for your child at least once a
Contributing enhances our feelings
of belonging, providing the basis for continued learning and strengthening of
self-esteem. Every day, use the following suggestions to help your child feel
that he or she is contributing.
You may want to keep a journal when you are starting
to use this method. Each day for at least 3 weeks, write in your journal
specifically how you helped your child develop a sense of belonging, learning,
and contributing. Keeping a journal for an extended period of time will help
encourage positive behavior. After 3 weeks, review your notes to see your
child's progress and to identify new ways to help your child.
November 18, 2013
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
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