“Oh, what a wonderful picture, Alyssa!” the teacher exclaims as he holds the scribbled drawing aloft. Alyssa beams. But he doesn’t even notice her next drawing. And Alyssa feels like a failure.
Alyssa, like almost every child, has given others the power to shape her self-perception. Her need for praise is training Alyssa to see herself through others’ eyes. The problem with this is that others’ images of her won’t always be consistent. And as a result, Alyssa won’t develop a Christ-centered self-esteem. What can we do to develop a faith-based self-esteem in our children?
Simply put, self-esteem is the way children feel about themselves.
A child with high self-esteem will…
- Work happily alone;
- Be responsible;
- Tolerate frustration;
- Accept new challenges; and
- Display a broad range of emotions.
A child with low self-esteem will:
- Make self-demeaning comments;
- Feel insecure about others’ opinions of him or her;
- Blame others for personal weaknesses;
- Be easily influenced by others; and
- Avoid situations that produce anxiety.