Self-esteem refers to a person’s overall sense of his or her value or worth. Having a high self-esteem has long been seen as our greatest weapon when tackling social problems; a shield against the temptations of drugs and alcohol and protection from the inner and outer invaders of our sensibilities.
But what happens when our self-esteem is challenged? How can we prepare young people to build a self-esteem that will enable them to stand tall when life will undoubtedly try to knock them around?
In her BLOG, “Building Self-Esteem that Won’t Crack Under Pressure,” Linda Stade, (Santa Maria College) presents a rational and refreshing reminder of the role of praise in the building of a rock-solid self-esteem in young people.
Particularly cogent is the message that, “shallow praise doesn’t lead to healthy self-esteem.” She also acknowledges that the “inevitable occasional discomfort motivates us to be more than we thought we were.” Empirical evidence also supports her belief that children need to have some control over what happens to them in life.
At Lourdes Hill College, the Leadership Development program positions students to evaluate their own experiences so that they take ownership of their own choices. Through regular reflection on their goals, choices and outcomes, students are encouraged to use positive self-talk in order to regulate their emotions and develop a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset. Through personal reflection, students become less dependent on external praise and more confident in their own decision-making capabilities when seeking to achieve their goals. This, in turn, nurtures a higher self-esteem. You can read the full Santa Maria blog here.
Rosanne Thomas is the Head of Faculty (Science) & Lee House Pastoral Leader at Lourdes Hill College