Self esteem is an individuals belief or impression regarding their own self-worth. It can be positive or negative and can be easily influenced environmental conditions and life circumstances. There is some controversy as to whether parents should be trying to instill a positive sense of self in their children and the manner with which this is achieved. Sometimes parents can go overboard and teach their child that they are superior to others and even entitled to that which others are not. Too often children develop a positive sense of self which is based on their ability to excel in any certain area. This may be in sports, academics, dance, music etc. Things generally go well until the child or developing adult can continue to achieve. If they are no longer able to achieve and be successful the self-concept plummets and the individual may fall into depression or find another way to feel superior. They may develop behaviors which are emotionally hurtful to others or may bully both emotionally or physically. We might say that concept of self-esteem is fragile and too often is dependent on external circumstances to support the internal positive dialogue.. Those who do not excel may develop a low sense of self esteem. The child who struggles in school and compares him or herself to others who do well academically, may constantly feel as if they are a failure and can possibly become targets for others who need to maintain their superior sense of self. Helping children to develop self-compassion is quite different. It does not dependent on environmental conditions and does not need someone else to be less than so that they can feel more than. It emphases the commonness between people, the care and kindness toward oneself, as well as action to effectively problem solve to avoid future trauma, suffering and pain. Because it does not rely on environmental conditions we might say that it is more stable.
Should We Teach Our Children Self-Esteem or Self-Compassion
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