Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Building Children's Self Esteem

Self-esteem refers to an individual's evaluative judgment about himself, herself, or itself (Santrock, 2001). Self-esteem can have a profound effect on children’s ability to learn, overall success and happiness. It also influences children's motivation, attitude, and behavior.

Research shows that children who feel good about themselves or children who have high self esteem do better in school and receive more education. This further indicates that those with more education have a higher level of self-concept. It also supports social skills and makes it easier for children to have and keep friends. Relationships with peers and teachers are usually more positive with a healthy dose of self-esteem. Children are also better equipped to cope with mistakes, disappointment and failure. They are more likely to stick with challenging tasks and complete learning activities. On the other hand, failure is much more likely when children suffer from low self esteem. These children show poor academic achievement because they lack confidence and motivation to try their best and to learn new things (Woolfolk, 1995).

In Bhutan, the issue of decline in quality of education has been a concern for many stakeholders and has been discussed at various forums. It has been attributed to many external factors like resources, curriculum, teachers, teaching methods, etc. However, self esteem, an internal factor of a child has not been talked about much. External factors do effect the quality of learning process and learning outcomes, but it is more important to address student-factors such as their self esteem.    

There are only few studies done to find the level of self esteem of Bhutanese students, and these few studies showed alarming results. A study done by Namgay Lhamo in 2008 which included 158 sample students, 85 girls and 73 boys, whose age ranged from 13 to 17 years, revealed that an astonishing 98.11% of the total students had low self esteem and only 1.89% of the students had high self esteem. 

Who can help build children's self esteem? Researches recommend that Teachers and parents play important roles in building children's self esteem since children spent most of the time with them. 

How can parents and teachers help children build their self esteem?
1. Parents 

  • Give unconditional love. 

  • Spending lots of time with your children

  • Allowing your children to make decisions and choices

  • Avoiding too much criticism

  • Helping your children to solve problems for themselves

  • Providing children with positive attention and praise for their accomplishments.

  • Accepting your children for who they are

  • Avoid comparisons. 

  • Improve your own self-confidence

  • Play with your child. 

  • Give responsibilities to children

  • Listen to your child

  • Let mistakes happen

  • Celebrate the positive.

  • Provide encouragement


  • 2. Teachers
  • Rewarding students’ effort, performance, and good choices

  • Avoid criticism, comparison and labeling.

  • Build skills - academic and social

  • Establish positive, trusting relationships with students

  • Value each student's uniqueness.

  • Reminding everybody not to laugh when somebody made mistakes/ No one is perfect!!

  • Knowing his interest, talents and abilities then help him shine through it

  • Getting him involve and socialize with others

  • Encouraging others to give their moral support to him.                                                                    


  • References:
    Woolfolk, A.E. (1995). Educational psychology (6th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
    Lhamo, N. (2008). A Preelminary  Study on the Self-Esteem of Bhutanese students. Centre for Research and Development. Paro:Bhutan.
    Saxena, C.S. (2012). Low Self-esteem in Children. Retrieved from http://www.buzzle.com/articles/low-self esteem-in-children.html on 01 April, 2012.
    Santrock, J.W. (2001). Educational psychology. Boston: McGraw Hill Companies.

    4 comments:

    Sonam Dorji said...

    good writing, Mr. Tshewang! Keep writing....

    Tshewang Rabgay said...

    Thankx Sonam

    Building Self Esteem In Children said...

    Hi-

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! 

    Wonderful article! A lot of great points into helping parents deal with their child's self-esteem and how to positively influence them. Sharing this on Twitter. =)

    Ramesh chauhan said...

    his is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the leisure here! Keep up the excellent work

    Building Self Esteem In Children - Enter the world of building self esteem. Former low self esteem sufferer unlocks the code to getting your best life. Discover the correct keys to a content and happy life

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