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Giving Kids Christ-Centered Self-Esteem

Christine Yount Jones

Self

"Oh, what a wonderful picture, Alyssa!" the teacher exclaims as he holds the scribbled drawing aloft. Alyssa beams. But he doesn't even notice her next drawing. And Alyssa feels like a failure.

Alyssa, like almost every child, has given others the power to shape her self-perception. Her need for praise is training Alyssa to see herself through others' eyes. The problem with this is that others' images of her won't always be consistent. And as a result, Alyssa won't develop a Christ-centered self-esteem. What can we do to develop a faith-based self-esteem in our children?

Self-esteem Defined

Simply put, self-esteem is the way children feel about themselves.

A child with high self-esteem will...

  • Work happily alone;
  • Be responsible;
  • Tolerate frustration;
  • Accept new challenges; and
  • Display a broad range of emotions.

A child with low self-esteem will:

  • Make self-demeaning comments;
  • Feel insecure about others' opinions of him or her;
  • Blame others for personal weaknesses;
  • Be easily influenced by others; and
  • Avoid situations that produce anxiety.

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