Self-esteem

Self-esteem is the core belief you have about yourself. Healthy self-esteem helps you to act responsibly, cooperate well with others, deal with difficulties, and have the confidence to try new things. The foundation of self-esteem is established in childhood, although it is a lifelong process of development.

Parents are the most significant influences on a child's self-esteem. Parents promote a child's healthy self-esteem by initiating a cycle of belonging, learning, and contributing. A sense of belonging helps a child to participate in learning new things; learning makes a child feel confident in making contributions; making contributions helps secure a feeling of belonging.

An unhealthy self-esteem causes problems throughout life. Mental health problems, difficulties with other people, and lack of confidence are some of the possible consequences of low self-esteem.

Last Updated: December 29, 2008

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