Self Esteem. A confusing topic, if you ask me. As a parent, I knew I wanted to imbue my kids with self esteem...but how much was too much?
I certainly did not want to be responsible for birthing narcissistic, me-focused, unproductive citizens. And yet, I did not want to punitively overpower my sons and destroy their sense of self. I hope I can shed some clarity on this subject.
This testing cycle, we examine Self Esteem. In order for students to earn their yellow stripe, parents (or caregivers) need to fill out a Self Esteem sheet describing how the student shows Self Esteem. (Spouses of our adult students, this is a chance for you to say something nice about your spouse...perhaps for the first time. Yes, please fill out a Self Esteem sheet for your husband or wife! In case you were wondering, it takes 10 good comments to equal 1 negative comment.)
Sooo..... here goes. My thoughts on self esteem over my half a century on this earth.
A person shows self esteem by having a can-do and a never-give-up attitude even when something doesn't go as planned. A person with self esteem shows a confidence in their capabilities in one or more areas of their lives. THAT is worth encouraging. Let me be clear. Pride in oneself can be healthy! What does your child (or husband) do often or say frequently that shows healthy pride? What do you do?
People show their self esteem when they lift others up. When they look at other people's good qualities over their bad ones. When they see the gem of potential in that person. Confidence and pride that puts other people down is called arrogance, and it is ugly. It is not healthy pride or self esteem. People without self esteem tear others down by pointing out each other's flaws. How are you doing as a parent/spouse with that? Do you or your child choose to be a good-finder?
Seems like true self esteem is very connected to humility. But that is another big topic for another day.
Fight the good fight,
“For it is easy to criticize and break down the spirit of others, but to know yourself takes a lifetime.” Bruce Lee