Social Development of Children: Self-Esteem

Social Development of Children: Self-Esteem
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  • 0:09 Self-Esteem and Development
  • 0:41 Attention and Care
  • 1:32 Safety, Independence,…
  • 3:28 Communication and…
  • 5:43 Healthy Behavior
  • 6:26 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jade Mazarin

Jade is a board certified Christian counselor with an MA in Marriage and Family Therapy, and a certification in Natural Health. She is also a freelance writer on emotional health and spirituality.

The social development of children has a strong influence on self-esteem. In this lesson, we will explore the way children feel about themselves and look into several ways caretakers can improve a child's self-esteem.

Self-Esteem and Development

As children are developing socially, they are also developing their self-esteem. Self-esteem is the way we feel about ourselves. We may have high self-esteem and feel confident and content with who we are, or we may have low self-esteem and feel that we are not as valuable as others.

High self-esteem often leads to healthy social interactions, which then leads to higher self-esteem. There are several actions parents and caretakers can follow in order to build their child's self-esteem during these key developing years.

1. Show attention and care

When parents are attentive and show care toward their children, they give their children the message that they are important. Physical affection can make the child feel loved and more able to show affection to their own children one day. Statements like 'I love you' or 'You are so special to me' are like deposits into a child's self-esteem account. When children hear these statements frequently, they feel securely loved and valued by their parents.

When they feel valuable to their parents, they feel good about themselves. Parents are a child's first exposure to the world and to relationships with others. There is a relational bond in a parent-child relationship that far exceeds any other bond. Therefore, the way parents treat their children can deeply affect self-esteem both during childhood and even into adulthood.

2. Foster safety and independence

While it is crucial that parents make a child feel safe, it is also crucial that parents encourage children to explore. Take Johnny, for example. Johnny loves crawling on the living room floor and investigating every corner. Johnny's mother doesn't want him exploring just yet. She is worried he is going to get into some kind of trouble. She tells him to stop over and over, picking him up and telling him to stay on her lap.

Johnny's father, however, tells her not to worry and encourages Johnny to look around. He calls his son from another room and acts excited when he makes it there. Johnny's mother may not realize it, but if she continues this overprotective behavior, she will limit Johnny's confidence as he grows. He may only feel safe when she is around, which will make him feel inadequate if he is in day care or grade school.

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