Self-esteem has become one of those words that we throw around frequently, but do we really recognise the impact of self-esteem in our child’s life?
Do we see the impact of self-esteem on children’s lives?
Or perhaps you’ve started to look at your child in comparison to their peers and begun to worry about how they are feeling about themselves?
Self-esteem is the value we place on our own worth. It is the opinion we have of ourselves. The way we view our worth in the world. It can be positive or negative, and the level of our self-esteem impacts the way that we see the world and the events that occur in our lives.
Many years ago, someone told me the story of the bucket of self-esteem… it goes something like this
When they are born, every child is born with a bucket
For their first years on this earth, everything they do it reaped with praise, which enters their bucket
When they learn to crawl we encourage and thrill at their achievements
Every step they take they are told how clever they are
As they learn to feed themselves we cheer at their skill
Their first words mesmerise us
Their first drawings we pin to the fridge and celebrate
Their first written words are received with adulation
Sports days, new skills, talents… each basked in praise and added to our buckets…
We get older…
The praise is slowly sandwiched with critical feedback
Make your writing neater
Be more focused
Get better grades
Target grades – achievement grades – predicted grades
Day after day of receipt of feedback that we ‘could do better’
And with each day a piece of self-esteem from our bucket is removed..
And depending on how much our self-esteem bucket is protected – with activities, connections and relationships that leave us feeling good about ourselves, depends on how much self-esteem remains in our bucket when the world is finished with us
So, we have to ask ourselves…
How much is left in my bucket?
How much is in my child’s bucket?
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