Children and young people’s self-esteem is about how much they value themselves; when low this has a major impact on the different areas of their lives. Self-esteem is influenced by personality traits, life experiences and the messages they receive from others (adults, peers, the media). There are a number of factors that underline children and young people’s self-esteem: comparing themselves unfavorably with others, seeing their self-worth based upon their achievements and needing other people’s approval.
Many children and young people with low self-esteem, feel the need to please or impress others, are unwilling to open up about themselves and are unable to be honest with themselves or others. Workers have a key role in helping to develop the self-esteem of these children and young people by:
- Helping children and young people to set goals that are both realistic and life-enhancing
- Showing young people how to monitor their thoughts and feelings and then how to challenge those that are unhelpful.
- Helping young people to understand the value of behaving authentically, not trying to be somebody else
- Showing young people how to communicate assertively