Put simply self-esteem is how someone thinks or feels about themselves. The self, or rather our sense of self, is formed through our relationships with others, this can occur in what is presently being experienced; for example, feeling good about praise you received in a meeting you just had, or historically, feeling bad about upsetting a friend in the past. These experiences of others responses and recognitions act to inform us of our sense of worth and highlights the importance of early relationships and connectedness. These early relationships and connectedness are key conceptions in the theory of attachment.
Why is self-esteem so important for healthy functioning and early intervention?
Low self-esteem is a risk factor for the development of mental health problems as outlined in risk models of . Overtime a young person with low self-esteem can begin a process of psychological defence building, removing themselves from activities and interactions altogether and building a negative worldview as a means of normalising how they are feeling and perceive their role in the world. This can make it much harder to communicate with a young person, diminishing our abilities to support them.
What can teachers do improve self-esteem?
As a young person cannot always predict what feedback they will get from those around them teachers can step in and try to the promote a young person’s positive aspects, being mindful that whilst a young person might recognise they should be valued they might not feel it.
3 top tips!
Give young people achievable tasks to they can generate self-efficacy
Talk about self-worth, what it is and how it can be self-generated
Explain how resilience is created and how failure is part of learning