How it Develops.
Families self-esteem plays an important part in the way family members relate to each other. Each member of the family has his or her role in the workings of the family unit. That role can define who we think we are and what we believe we are capable of doing.
Before we get much further along, we need to get some sort of an explanation of what self-esteem is.
What Is Self-Esteem?
There are many definitions of self-esteem: confidence in one's own worth or abilities, a person's mental picture of himself or herself, how much we value ourselves or how much we feel valued by others.
In psychology, self esteem reflects a person's overall evaluation or appraisal of his or herself.
Self-esteem to me is a deep down feeling of worth and adequacy. It is how intended we feel in the scheme of things. We are meant to feel worthy. We are meant to feel good. That is the most important thing that we are here for: to feel good. When we feel good, the world is a safe place.
Families self-esteem is important for the whole family unit. Each individual is affected differently by what they learn within the family, depending on many different variables.
The Need for Love
The search for love includes many different techniques. Coping skills are different for different people in different situations. So are the styles of searching out this love and acceptance. The degree of rejection from the outside world as a child grows up also dictates the degree (or length) at which the child will search for this acceptance and love. It can be as subtle as wanting to help around the house or as blatant as behaving badly.The plea is always the same, " Please notice me. Please tell me I'm worthy and that you love me."
Families self-esteem is so intertwined that one cannot distinguish the individuality of each member when the children are still within the original family.
" The family is one of nature's masterpieces."--George Santayana
Observations on Bullying In Schools
Today I was researching bullying in schools. It starts as early as the first grade. By the fifth grade, 17% of children report being bullied. Psychologists claim that the victim is generally a quiet, shy, child with a low self-esteem. I was surprised to find out that the psychologists believe that the bully has a high self-esteem and confidence level. He definitely has a desire to control and have power over his victim, but a high self-esteem? What do you think? Have not both children got a low self-esteem? I believe that they each deal with their low self-esteem in a different way. The bully has learned to be aggressive in his need for attention. The victim has found that being docile has kept him safer. I would not think that a child who really loved himself would inflict pain on others.
I must ad to this that the families self-esteem is definitely a factor in how a child begins to bully others. Usually when parents are brought into a dispute at school, it is easy to see where the behavior pattern has started. No offense here to the parents of children who bully. We inadvertently show behaviors to our children that we have been taught by our own parents. If we do not become aware of this, families self-esteem will suffer.
Personal boundaries are the limits we establish for ourselves that demand respect from the people in our lives. This is how we protect ourselves from being manipulated, used or violated by others. Setting healthy personal boundaries is necessary for healthy self-esteem and self-respect. When we allow others to violate our boundaries, we are extremely uncomfortable and in many cases we become ill.
It was years before I understood the concept of personal boundaries. Now that I do, there is no going back.
My husband and are fortunate right now to have the opportunity to look after our newest grandson, Peter, for one or two days per week. He is very cute, very smart and showing signs of pushing boundaries. He is 17 months old and at the perfect age to be testing out the adults in his life. And testing us is what he is doing.
The challenge for Peter is that his mother suffers from Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD). She has no boundaries. She was brought up in an extremely abusive environment where boundaries did not exist. She can’t teach what she doesn’t know. She is a single mom.
Peter’s father, my son, is his primary day care. He, too has noticed that Peter thinks we all are his personal robots. It is unfortunate, and so the challenge for us when we look after him is to teach him to respect others and at the same time enjoy his company and have him enjoy being with us.
We all need to know that we have a right to personal boundaries. In fact, how we allow others to treat us is our responsibility. If we don’t protect our personal boundaries, we lose our sense of worth and tend to rely on others to define us. When we allow our boundaries to be violated, we are stating that other people’s needs are more important than our own.
One of the hardest things, it seems, for people to do is to say no. Such a small word with such a big impact! We are people pleasers and often, we put our own needs to the back to accommodate everyone else. Eventually, it becomes hard to identify situations that are unacceptable to us. We have ignored the unpleasant feelings associated with boundary-crossing, for so long that things have become foggy. All we know now is that we are not feeling good about something.
By not teaching children about boundaries, we are doing them an injustice. It is their right to know and understand that we all need and deserve to establish personal boundaries. A child with no boundaries is easy to identify in a group situation. He often is left out and, unfortunately, picked-on for his behavior.
Here are some points to remember to help your child to learn personal boundaries:
1. Be aware of your own leadership style. Do you establish and maintain your own personal boundaries.
2. Respect your children’s boundaries and set an example for them by saying no when appropriate to do so.
3. Emphasize the fact that it is a human right to have boundaries and that other people’s needs are not more important than their own.
4. Remember that families self-esteem is most important, so you need to help your child to develop a healthy self-esteem. With that they will trust and believe in themselves.
When we think that we won’t be liked for standing up for ourselves, the opposite occurs. We are loved, respected and admired, and most often, people will emulate us.
A conscious parent will know that building families self-esteem is the most important of all parental duties. Done with respect and dignity will produce healthy and well adjusted children.
Return from Families Self-Esteem to Family Behavior Patterns