The Effect of Expectations on Self-Esteem
What You Need To Know
- Signficance. Am I loved? Do people care about me? Am I important, or valued?
- Competence. Can I do the things I want? Do I match my own expectations in my actions or activities?
- Power. Can I control any part of my world?
- Virtue. Am I good? Do other people see me as a good person?
Significance, competence, power, and virtue can be measured by how a child values himself or herself. They can also be judged according to the values of a family or a culture. Expectations, both of individual children and their families/peer groups, can be extremely important in measuring self-esteem.
How You Can Help
- Tell your child you love them. Nothing makes a child feel more secure than knowing that he or she is loved. At bedtime, whisper a special line into your child’s ear just before they sleep. “You are the most wonderful boy/girl in the world. I will always love you.”
- Practice. Practicing throwing, sprinting, swimming, cooking, piano-playing, or juggling will teach competence and build confidence. However, ‘bleacher dads’ should also go gently. Let children develop at their own rate. Don’t build their expectations too high or they will become frustrated and lose confidence instead of gaining it.
- Let your child choose. Small decisions, the green dress or the blue dress, can build self-esteem in children. First graders like to participate and feel like adults are listening, even when the decisions are small ones.
- Display the behavior you want your child to have. From saying ‘thank you’ to going to church, there are a ton of ways to promote good behavior. Just don’t forget to praise your first grader when they follow your lead.
For more information on dimensions of self-esteem, please see the full article:
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- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- Child Development Theories
- Signs Your Child Might Have Asperger's Syndrome
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- Social Cognitive Theory
- GED Math Practice Test 1
- The Homework Debate
- First Grade Sight Words List