How as a parent, guardian, or mentor do we empower children with an ever maturing sense of self-worth; establishing resources that help them maneuver life’s joy’s and challenges? When young people see that every situation, whether it be positive or negative, brings about new opportunities to practice and hone their ability to reason and make sense of life, perhaps for the first time they are able to connect with a true alley and here’s what we mean by this…
Self-worth can be described as follows, “the recognition of value as it relates to higher knowing contributing to one’s sense of worth/importance”. Every time a child, or adult for that matter, puts 2 & 2 together it strengthens a connection with an inner knowing, while lessening feelings associated with a sense of loss or being less than, which when left unacknowledged can lead to an irreversible break in the child’s ability to accurately and coherently balance their perspective of the world they live in.
Why is it some children don’t seem to derive a sense of self-worth from others, while some children do? Looking to join questionable groups or be like those who exhibit hurtful attitudes but are perceived as desirable friends, all the while wanting external acknowledgement and recognition, are telltale signs of low self-esteem associated with a lack of self-worth. Make no mistake, true self-esteem doesn’t mean the child will escape emotions associated with hurtful words and actions, however, as a child’s ability to make sense of how he or she perceives and interprets negativity increases, an empowering alley emerges through authentic and compassionate reasoning.
As adults true, exemplary role modeling and dialogue with children helps to strengthen the child’s ability to see and hear what lies beyond broken attitudes and behaviors directed at them, while helping them see what it means to understand no one harms who hasn’t been harmed previously.
Let’s look at some ways to do this. As the adult, first acknowledge to yourself the enormity of the constantly changing, dynamic factors associated with the circumstance or condition at hand. This opens the door for less obstructed observation and listening. As the instructing adult ask yourself the following: do you sense any argumentative attitudes, beliefs, or opinions that might have conditioned and skewed unknowingly how you assess people and situations in your life?
Now determine if there is a naturalness and ease in terms of how you and your child normally interact? Are you willing to stop your life, right now, should your child indicate or appear to have experienced a situation troublesome to them on some level? If so begin by encouraging an investigative mindset, open to the exploration of what is hidden beyond hurtful words or actions.
As you get to the bottom of inaccurate, baseless acts children typically begin to realize that sense of being violated really has little to do directly with them. When children understand that violators usually feel less than or threatened by those who they themselves don’t understand, emotionally charged energies are dissipated.
Laying bare as many factors as possible that compromise the fragile nature of a child’s ability to reason the life they are living, complicated more so than ever by visibly polarized societal thinking and reactionary behaviors, is paramount. The realization that helping young people understand the value of establishing and maintaining healthy relationships, rather than engaging in situations of an abusive nature that lure them into a false sense of connectivity, will in time build and strengthen in them a balanced, accurate sense of self-worth.