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What is self-esteem in children? Importance and Factors

Self-esteem in children is one of the pillars that will allow them to have a “healthy” development, referring to healthy as what will be functional, will allow them to feel good and comfortable with themselves, as well as with their environment. To be able to work on it, it is necessary to begin to seek all the aspects indicated by the WHO, seeking physical, mental and social well-being. In particular, we talk about giving important weight to the psychological field, including their thoughts, emotions and behavior. In this post you will learn what self-esteem is in children, its importance and some factors that can have an impact on it.

What is self-esteem in children?

To begin with, you have to define self-esteem. As the name implies, it is about the esteem we hold for ourselves. What one considers and feels of oneself. It’s like looking in a mirror and giving feedback on what we see and think of that image. Self-esteem is a constant construct. We are not born with it overnight, but it is mediated by different factors of our environment. From a whole process, children will begin to give themselves or give themselves a value, always taking into account all their characteristics and qualities, as well as their learning.

Factors that intervene in the self-esteem of children.

As already mentioned, there are different factors that can intervene in the self-esteem of children: internal and external factors.

In this sense, internal factors are those that have to do with their learning, thoughts, emotions, ways of coping, behavior, that is, everything that in theory depends on them. For example, in this case, a factor that intervenes in self-esteem is the way we talk or treat each other, which in the end comes from a learning acquired from our environment, but which we have now internalized. This internalization has to do with an adaptation. If you notice that it would be appropriate to start modifying certain thoughts or behaviors in your little one, you should have a lot of patience and tact, allow him to question what he does and analyze the situation together. This is because we get so used to acting or reacting in a certain way that we cannot distinguish that it may not be the most appropriate, we even do not measure the damage it causes us. The same happens with your child: Continuing with the internal factors, it will not be the same for the self-esteem of the little one that when he makes a mistake he offends himself or labels himself as an incapable person, that if he decides to accept the error, learn from it and tell himself that the error is not the totality of his person.

The latter, that is, the external factors, they will be evidently influenced by our environment, as are all those messages we receive from the outside, the culture in which we are immersed, the social and political context, the parenting style with which they are taught, parents, institutions, stereotypes, etc.

We can say that everything with which your little one is related, can be the difference to build an adequate self-esteem or not. From small words, gender learnings, the way you call your attention or how you react to a mistake of yours. Every aspect is important, so we must be aware all the time, both of what it relates to or has contact with, and of the way it receives and reacts, coupled with understanding why it acts the way it does.

Importance of taking care of self-esteem in children

As already mentioned, self-esteem is a construction, but just as it is built, it also causes effects on the daily life of your little one. Let’s say that it is a circle, where it receives information, processes it and reacts, always having a consequence. It is a bilateral relationship, so its self-esteem will modify and mediate each encounter with your day to day, from interaction with your classmates, to the school environment, family and in the future your adult life; In addition, it is proven that those who have a worked self-esteem, have less tendency to fall in cases of depression and other disorders like that.

The importance of taking care of self-esteem in children, lies in understanding them as well as the situations they go through, we must be adults open to reflection, think about all those learnings and stereotypes that have caused some harm, to us or to those we love, that make us doubt our value or our role in this world. Once we identify them, while we cannot prevent them from being in contact with them, we can give them weapons so that they can react in such a way that they do not harm them, but on the contrary, strengthen their self-esteem. Always taking care that they do it from assertiveness.


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