I believe that every parent wants their kids to have high self-esteem, so I have decided to publish a few posts over the coming weeks about self-esteem, what it is and how to increase it, so every parent reading this will be able to help their kids develop this very important emotional strength.
Last week, in Self Esteem Mini-Course (part 1), I wrote about the definition of self-esteem. This week, let us explore how school promotes low self-esteem in children and shapes our society in the opposite way.
Since our self-esteem is based on our perception of ourselves and school is the place we spend most of our time between the ages of 6 and 12, every school experience either increases or decreases our self-esteem.
If you want to understand the influence of the groups on our life, put yourself at the center of a circle and draw bigger and bigger circles around you for your family, friend, work colleagues, acquaintances and so on. The closest the circle to you, the more influence you allow this group to have on your life.
Every person in the universe is searching for happiness. Our thoughts about ourselves, our self esteem, are part of that one “map” that everyone is looking for, the one we think fits us all. But we all have different experiences and mindsets. Therefore, we each use a different map to guide us to our own happiness.
Last month, I sent my car to be serviced. On the front window, my mechanic put a label telling me when to bring the car to him for the next service. When he returned my car, it drove perfectly, quietly, smoothly, swiftly and without any black smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe.
People are a lot like cars. We function well, smoothly and at full speed when we take good care of ourselves. When we neglect ourselves, we feel bad, rejected and frustrated and our performance suffers. Whereas cars need servicing every 10,000km, people need it roughly every week (10,000 minutes), so take care of yourself at least once a week to feel fresh and shiny.
Last week, we met Eli, my mechanic, and talked about his checklist for car maintenance, the one he uses before returning each car to its owner. Well, here (at last) is a self-esteem checklist – your very own list of the parts of your self-esteem. When you examine yourself in each of these areas against your own full score (your ideal). You can still drive when the petrol is not on full, but it is much better to drive on a full tank (less worries, less fuel contamination). You can still function if your tyres are not new, but if when they are too worn, you risk skidding and having an accident.
The easiest way to increase your kids’ self esteem is to send them to have dinner at friends’ house or encourage them to sleep over with their friends. If you think I am joking, keep reading.
I heard about assertiveness long before I knew what it meant, at a time when I did not express myself much. The fear of rejection was so huge that I was willing to suffer a lot for it. Just today, I talked about a problem I had on my vocal cord. Since I was really young (age 5-6) I had a huge polyp on my vocal cord and when I spoke, I had to take a deep breath to get enough air for 2 or 3 words.
Communication is an important part of everyone’s life and conflicts are inevitable. No two people react the same way to all situations. If you choose the aggressive approach, either physical or verbal, you risk the relationship, but if you choose the passive approach, you risk the relationship too.
An assertive approach from both parties can contribute a lot to the communication and the relationship between the two parties.
Here are 32 techniques that will get you to act assertively in now time…
Assertive people have sets of beliefs that help them to be assertive. If you want to find out what you need to do to become an assertive person, examine your beliefs. Here is a set of questions to help you examine your beliefs…