Self-Esteem vs. Self-Concept - How to Influence a Childs Self-Concept

Self-esteem (or self worth) refers specifically to out self-evaluations; our judgements about our worth. Whereas self-concept refers to other aspects as well; physical characteristics, psychological traits, and gender and ethnic identity.

Self-Esteem - our perception of how others perceive us as significant and worthy or possessing culturally valued traits

Self-Concept - perceptions of yourself; physical and mental

Ways to Influence Self-Concept in Children

  • Help children feel they are of value
  • Listen attentively to what children say. Ask for their suggestions - Soliciting and respecting children’s ideas helps them feel valued
  • Help children identify their own positive and prosocial behaviour - ex. Saying “you are being very helpful”
  • Highlight the value of different ethnic groups - books, pictures; educate them
  • Helpful children feel they are competent - promote experiences where they can succeed 
  • Promote new challenges and comment on positive attempts
  • Teach strategies to accomplish tasks - “I can’t’ sometimes means “I don’t know how”. Rather than encouragement , children sometimes need specific interactions; break it down for them
  • Allow children to carry out and complete tasks by themselves
  • Help children feel they have some control - promote opportunities for choice
  • Avoid comparison
  • Help them learn to evaluate their own accomplishments
  • Help them learn interpersonal skills - help them express themselves to others
  • Become aware of your own expectations of children - be open, question 'does it differ from boys to girls?'

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