Thursday, August 7, 2008

Self Esteem

You hear so many differing opinions about self-esteem and how it is achieved in our society of late. As a teacher, mother and grandmother, I would like to add my conclusions about the matter. These conclusions about the subject, I have arrived at, not only from my training, but from a common sense approach after watching the many children I have taught grow to adulthood. In recent decades it seems the belief is you should never criticize a child, only praise he or she. While of course yelling at the child and hurtful name calling can be damaging there is such a thing as constructive criticism which can be accompanied by praise of things the child has done well and how they can improve in their weakness area. Standards for living and rules for living should be in place and punishments that teach should be applied in a consistent manner for misbehavior. Follow through being a consistent action taken. As a teacher, I have seen some parents, not all of course, dive in and save their children from consequences. It will be with these parents, that only teachers and other students are to blame. Even the best children from the best homes will tell a lie if they think they are in trouble for their actions. Children are intelligent and learn to manipulate quickly, never taking the blame for their actions if they are not held accountable. It is my firm belief that self-esteem comes from a job well done or good choices. I think children know when they are in the right or wrong and adults don’t do them any favor by saving them from natural consequences.