Self-esteem is what people think about themselves - whether or not they feel valued - and when family members have self-respect, pride, and belief in themselves, this high self-esteem makes it possible to cope with the everyday problems or growing up.
Successful parenting begins by communicating to children that they belong, and are loved for no other reason than just because they exist. Through touch and tone of voice parents tell their infants whether or not they are valued, special, and loved, and it is these messages that form the basis of the child’s self-esteem. When children grow up with love and are made to feel lovable despite their mistakes and failures, they are able to interact with others in a responsible, honest, and loving way. A healthy self-esteem is a resource for coping when difficulties arise, making it easier to see a problem as temporary, manageable, and something from which the individual can emerge.
If, however, children grow up without hove and without feelings of self-worth, they feel unlovable and worthless and expect to be cheated, taken advantage of, and looked down upon by others. Ultimately their actions invite this treatment, and their self-defeating behavior turns expectations into reality. They do not have the personal resources to handle everyday problems in a healthy way, and life may be viewed as just one crisis after another. Without a healthy self-esteem they may cope by acting out problems rather than talking them out or by withdrawing and remaining indifferent toward themselves and others. These individuals grow up to live isolated, lonely lives, lacking the ability to give the love that they have never received.
Self-esteem is a kind of energy, and when it is high, people feel like they can handle anything. It is what one feels when special things are happening or everything is going great. A word of praise, a smile, a good grade on a report card, or doing something that creates pride within oneself can create this energy. When feelings about the self have been threatened and self-esteem is low, everything becomes more of an effort. It is difficult to hear, see, or think clearly, and others seem rude, inconsiderate, and rough. The problem is not with others, it is with the self, but often it is not until energies are back to normal that the real problem is recognized.
Children need help understanding that their self-esteem and the self-esteem of those they interact with have a direct effect on each other. For example, a little girl comes home from school and says, "I need lovings ’cause my feelings got hurt today." The mother responds to her child’s need to be held and loved. If instead the mother said she was too busy to hold the little girl, the outcome would have been different.
Maintaining a healthy self-esteem is challenge that continues throughout life. One family found that they could help each other identify positive attitudes. One evening during an electric storm the family gathered around the kitchen table, and each person wrote down two things that they liked about each family member. These pieces of paper were folded and given to the appropriate person, who one by one opened their special messages. The father later commented, "It was quite an experience, opening each little piece of paper and reading the message. I still have those gifts, and when I’ve had a really bad day, I read through them and I always come away feeling better." The foundation of a healthy family depends on the ability of the parents to communicate messages of love, trust, and self-worth to each child. This is the basis on which self-esteem is built, and as the child grows, self-esteem changes from a collection of other’s feelings to become personal feelings about the self. Ultimately a person’s self-esteem is reflected in the way he or she interacts with others.
2011-11-06 10:29 编辑：wjy2005tom