Nurturing Self-Esteem & Resilience
By Lauren Colvin
1 November 2018
As featured in About Thames Ditton Magazine
How To Nurture Self-Esteem And Resilience
There is a direct link between self-esteem & resilience. Self-esteem is a sense of worth that a child develops about themselves, it is linked to feelings and beliefs about the self. High self-esteem requires a deep acceptance, confidence and love towards the person that we are. A resilient mind supports this, as we learn not to measure ourselves on successes or failures, but instead are able to extract lessons, grow and move forward with our self-esteem intact.
So how do we help our children to develop positive beliefs about themselves and a resilient mind with the desire to keep trying and practicing despite setbacks?
There is a mistaken theory that we can teach directly about improving self-esteem, but in fact self-esteem and happiness are side effects from children having opportunities to feel good about who they are. A crucial starting point is ensuring children experience positive relationships and feel unconditionally loved. A child’s belief that they are worthy of love and care is the basis of mental health and learning.
Providing children with opportunities to master challenges and work through difficult emotions, helps them to develop belief in themselves. Life experiences such as these, help children to realise they are capable of surviving the ups and downs of life and that situations will pass and change.
The attitudes children develop towards mistakes and failures is another huge part of mental resilience. A child’s sense of self-worth should not be governed or defined by such events. Mistakes and failures are fantastic opportunities for learning and growth. We can support children to realise this, by encouraging them to learn from these experiences in order to achieve their goals. It is said that the most successful people fail the most, their drive towards their dreams is so great that they do not lose their enthusiasm or sense of purpose on their journey, despite the setbacks they encounter on the way. Instead they apply what these instances teach them and find innovative and creative ways of accomplishing what they set out to.
When we see the beauty and potential in children, they feel and believe it in themselves. When we encourage children based on their progress, they feel good when they are working through challenges, safe in the knowledge it will help them to improve.