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Healthy Self Esteem and Higher Education: Is There a Link?

June 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Blog

 

Healthy Self Esteem and Higher Education: Is There a Link?

I CAN is 100 times more important than IQ

How important such a quote/saying can mean to a child when hearing this from a parent. Most children if not all want to please their parents and make them proud.  This is also a desire as children become young adults.  Statistics have proven that with the right parent involvement, students’ academic achievements will and have improved, self esteem increases, and motivation to do better becomes much more evident.

While getting an education is extremely important, quotes like the one above instill in our children the belief that they have the ability to BE whatever it is they desire, ACHIEVE the grades they desire and work towards and that they possess all that is necessary to make their dreams come true. This will enable a child to have the motivation to press on even in the face of difficult classes and even teachers.

One may think my child does not have a self esteem issue; my child is confident in themselves, I do not need to do more than what I am doing, I just wish my child would achieve higher grades and live up to their full potential. Well, let’s take a closer look at the facts of what our children may be thinking and yet never utter aloud:

According to Real Girls, Real Pressure: A National Report on the State of Self-Esteem, commissioned by the Dove Self-Esteem Fund in 2008:

  • Seven in ten girls believe they are not good enough or do not measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school and relationships with friends and family members
  • 62% of all girls feel insecure or not sure of themselves
  • More than half (57%) of all girls say they don’t always tell their parents certain things about them because they don’t want them to think badly of them
  • The top wish among all girls surveyed, is for their parents to communicate better with them, which includes more frequent and open conversations about what is happening in their own lives
  • 78% of girls with low self-esteem admit that it is hard to feel good in school when you do not feel good about how you look (compared to 54% of girls with high self-esteem)

These statistics I share with you is in no way an attempt to make you feel that all is lost in our youths and that there is nothing that can be done as parents; however as we all know, knowledge is power and by knowing the facts of this common yet rarely discussed topic, as parents you can better equip yourself in assisting your child in not becoming a statistic.

Parents’ words and actions play a critical role in fostering positive self-esteem in young ladies and in young men and it is not as hard as one may think. Simply applying a few simple techniques and habits will help tremendously in boosting your child’s self esteem and self worth and by doing so will boost their educational experience and ultimately their grades.

Here are 6 Easy Tips in Helping Increase Your Child’s Self Esteem/Self Worth:

  1. On Monday mornings of each week, Google an inspirational and motivating quote on self esteem and attach it to the refrigerator so that your child will be reminded each time they visit the refrigerator. If your child does not live with you, text it to them each Monday morning ending each inspirational quote with a personal word of encouragement from you the parent; such as, I know you can do it, I’m so proud of what you have accomplished, Keep up the great work.
  2. Take time once a month or when their home on a break to take your child out, just the two of you either out to breakfast/lunch or dinner at their favorite restaurant. This allows you to have an open line of communication; allowing you to ask those questions that maybe they would not feel comfortable answering amongst siblings or other family members. You will be amazed at what your child will share with you when they feel that you want to spend quality time with them.
  3. Incorporate something like a “Book Club”. The “Book Club” allows you to share a Self Improvement book with one another. This helps in opening positive dialogue amongst the two about the chapters you agree to read and it encourages your child to embrace positive ways in which to view themselves. Books that I recommend are the following: Developing the Leader Within You by John C. Maxwell, The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale, Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins and The Success Principles by Jack Canfield.
  4. Quarterly, find family members and close friends to share with you what they admire about your child and share it with them. This allows them to see how they are truly being perceived by those who know them best; thus shifting negative thoughts they may be holding inside to positive ones.
  5. Annually, host a family “Goal” Dinner. Each family member participating in the dinner will share what their future goals are; your child will share their educational goals. Each family member, i.e. sister, brother, father or mother is then assigned as an accountability partner. This family member will ensure that their loved one will keep focus and assist in minimizing distractions, remind them to keep their eyes on the prize of graduating with their degree, achieving a certain GPA or stepping out of their comfort zone and joining a club on campus or fraternity/sorority. Each year thereafter, part of the dinner will be to celebrate such accomplishments and share new goals for each upcoming year.
  6. Sharing a motivational video from You Tube on either their Facebook page or directly to their email.

Consistently practicing these tips and staying committed to them will guarantee a change in your child’s self image to one of greatness. I would like to share with you my personal story. I am a mother of three children, one twenty two, one twenty and my youngest, eighteen. My oldest child from the time he was six years old, was bullied at school. Not only from his peers, but by his teachers as well and it took a tremendous toll on his self esteem. I saw my vibrant child become introverted and isolated from his peers. I encouraged him to talk to me during one of our one on one times with one another at his favorite restaurant…Red Lobster. There is where he began to tell me what was happening to him and how he was viewing himself. In many ways I wish I never had to hear it as no parent likes to see their child in pain, but at the same time I was happy he told me because now I knew what was in his heart and in knowing so, I could then begin to assist in the healing process. I applied the same principles and tips that I share with you today and his self esteem has improved dramatically. After being told that he would never learn to read by his first grade teacher to his fifth grade teacher telling him she didn’t like him because he was different from the other children, my son accomplished graduating with honors and is the CEO of his new comic book company; Fearless Fantasy Ink. The journey I shared with my son and the results is not something that happened and changed over night; however, with as I mentioned before…CONSISTENCY, you too will see a shift and one for the better with your child.

In conclusion, I would like to leave you with one last quote:

The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson. Tom Bodett

Obtaining good grades will assist in graduating from college, obtaining a healthy sense of self worth will assist in graduating in this thing we call life. As parents we can assist our children in mastering the ability to obtain and more importantly…maintain a healthy sense of self worth and self esteem.  

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