Lack of self-esteem can be a debilitating problem. It actually hampers one’s potential to be successful or even achieving one’s dreams or in some cases, even hampers the ability to dream big. People with low self-worth often get into self-destructive relationships with self and others. There are many reasons why people lose their self-esteem.
Mostly, this is caused by external factors such as society and our family relations or the manner we were brought up. The media also plays a vital role in developing self-esteem as it still has the capacity to provide the greatest influence on people.
Each one of us is exposed to media and these advertisements (such as commercials, billboards, ads, etc) often cram our minds with what beauty and therefore acceptance is all about. We tend to compare ourselves to their bench mark of what is acceptable to society and if we feel we do not meet up to these criterias, we feel bad about ourselves. Then we get self-esteem issues.
As a child, we never really cared about what is and is not acceptable to society. We say what we want to say, do what we want to do, dress up with whatever clothes we choose to dress ourselves up in and look the way we want to look. It did not matter to us then what shapes our noses have, what color our skins are, whether we are thin or not.
In other words, we created our own society. We never really cared about what people think. But somehow, as we grow older, we learn to seek acceptance and even approval from the people that surround us. If we do not get this approval, then our issues with self-esteem starts.
Self-esteem development starts from childhood. It is a parent’s duty to make his or her child feel special. And contrary to scolding the child for doing something wrong, it would help if we engage him or her in the task of solving their own problems.
Do not merely tell them what to do, help them decide on what they think is best for them. This helps the child cultivate a sense of responsibility and control over his life. These traits are essential in developing self-esteem.
A parent should also concentrate on the positive traits of his or her child. It is given that every one of us has our own good and bad sides, but focusing on the positive will encourage the child to bring out that trait more often if he or she sees that it is well appreciated. This practice can also be applied to adults. Focus on their good traits and in time, they will learn to bring that out more often.
Also, one of the things a parent should remember is to never, never compare siblings. Treat each child as an individual and focus on their strengths. Comparing siblings to one another will only succeed in bringing out the best in one child and the worst in the other.
If the other sibling feels that he or she cannot match the “better” sibling, eventually he or she will give up and start being contented being the “lesser” sibling.
Lastly, train the child to love him or herself by making him or her feel loved. Avoid judging him or her for their mistakes, instead, ask them what they could do differently in the future to avoid it. This will give them the feeling that they are trusted. The more a child feels trusted, the higher his or her regard for his or herself will be.