Today is the day many kids are headed back to school. With it comes fears and anxiety especially for those entering a new school or just starting school. Regardless of the age, positive self-esteem is important.
As parents, we want to believe our kids are confident – maybe just a little shy. We want to believe they are ready to handle any situation. The truth is despite our best efforts, some children don’t always get it. The cold hard fact is they learn by example. They follow our lead. Are you a picture of positive self-esteem or does Negative Nelly invade your space?
I struggled with low self-esteem since I was a child. There is not one incident which changed things for me – just a lot of little things. As I grew into an adult, the fears and negative self-esteem were stuffed deep down. My fear of disappointing others became the one thing that controlled my life. Only to later show up during my years of addiction and recovery. There are still days when Negative Nelly shows her face. There are still days the fear of disappointing others control my actions. I say all of this to share how this impacted my daughter….
In reflection, my negative self-imagine had a dramatic impact on my daughter. What I perceived as a confident, self-assured athlete with lots of friends was far from the truth. I made excuses for her not showing emotion in most situations. I tried to overcompensate so she would not fall victim to Negative Nellie.
Years later she shared her true feelings. She shared about the years of bullying. The years of stuffing the negative feelings. The years of never wanting to disappoint me. Why? Because she saw me do it. YIKES! Despite my best efforts, Negative Nelly made her way through the “perfect veneer”.
Thirty One provides these statistics – my daughter was one of those statistics.
Social media was not big until my daughter’s teen years, so the negative self-image was a direct result of what she saw in school, conversations she was involved in combined with the harsh words of the other children. Now a days, social media is a strong basis for social comparisons, self-evaluation or self-enhancement.
As our kids go off to school, we need to be aware. Aware of their reaction to positive or negative evaluations of themself when they compare to others. The verbal comparisons our kids make in conversation can shed the light on their personal self-esteem. Also, the things they don’t say. Their actions or lack of reactions. Bullying or social comparison is HUGE in today’s society. We unfortunately live in a world driven by more money, better clothes, the perfect looks and the need to have “it all” (whatever that is).
In this busy world, full of social media which allows us access to information about a wide range of people and allowing unlimited networking opportunities, there is a potential downside to frequent social media use. When people with low self-esteem use social media sites, it can create a vicious cycle which can further impact their negative self-esteem.
Okay, so I have been rambling a bit today. Some brain fog BUT I wanted to share how important this subject is especially as kids head back to school.
My concern is for the 62% of children who have low self-esteem; who think they are fat, or not pretty enough, or not good enough. For those children who believe their parents aren’t as good as their friends who appear to have a perfect life. I grew up in an era of, what happens behind closed doors stays behind closed doors. The secrets of the family stays in the family – so on the outside things looked perfect but on the inside things were a mess. It is those beliefs perpetuating the negative comparisons that effect our children.
Let’s work together to put a stop to the bullying and the negative self-esteem. Let’s make a difference in the life of a child, letting them know that they are special and worthy EVEN if they are different. Won’t you join me?
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!