Asset Corner #97
SHOW KIDS YOU CARE: ADMIT WHEN YOU MAKE A MISTAKE. January’s Asset Category: Positive Identity Help young people bring out their best. The way people feel about themselves can fluctuate with circumstances. Depending on what’s happening, you may feel confident or unsure, optimistic or pessimistic, in control or not in control. What’s important is what a person’s identity is like most of the time. People who have a strong, positive sense of self maintain these qualities even when difficulties arise. They continue to be hopeful and optimistic, and believe they can make a difference. This column’s focus will be on…..Asset #38 - Self-Esteem
Where does high self-esteem come from?
High self-esteem doesn’t necessarily come naturally. Adults, by the way they act and interact, teach young people to believe in themselves and like themselves. Telling and showing young people that they love and accept them for who they are, what they value, and the people they want to become helps build self-esteem. It’s also important to teach young people the values and actions that will build genuine self-esteem, including caring, giving, treating others with kindness and tolerance, and always doing your best in school and other activities.
Here are the facts
Research shows that young people who feel good about themselves have positive relationships with parents and peers, increased academic achievement, and a decreased susceptibility to negative peer pressure. Loving yourself is as important as loving other people. About 48 percent of young people, ages 11–18, report having high self-esteem, according to Search Institute surveys. Telling and showing young people you accept and value who they are helps them to feel good about themselves.
Tips for building this asset
A young person’s self-esteem can be affected by many people and situations. Notice how what you say and do affects the young people around you. Young people’s self-esteem increases when they feel loved, respected, and accepted; taken seriously; and listened to. Feeling safe and secure, and able to make choices and do good deeds also boosts self-esteem. The most important key to building other’s self-esteem is to let them know they matter and are an important part of society.
Also try this
In your home and family: Compliment your child and let her or him hear you saying positive things about her or him to someone else.
In your neighborhood and community: Take the time to learn about what the young people in your community think and feel about current events. Ask them not only about school and hobbies, but also their opinions on important issues. Let them know you value what they think and how they feel.
In your school or youth program: Publicly congratulate young people’s successes with written notes, calls home, or verbal praise. If some students or group members are having a problem, talk to them (or their parents or guardians) privately.
It’s important to cultivate a positive personal identity and self-esteem in your child. If your child has low self-esteem he will be much more susceptible to negative peer pressure, and it may cause problems in the future. Address this problem before it starts by building self-esteem early and continuing throughout your child’s life.
Visit www.search-institute.org/assets for more information about the 40 Developmental Assets and ideas for helping young people build them. Or go here http://www.parentfurther.com/ for great asset-based parenting tips, tricks, activities and ideas.