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  • Writer's pictureEmily Del-Grande

If you listed yourself on eBay, how much would you price yourself at?

That's a bit of a random question for a Monday evening, I promise I have not lost the plot!


But what price would you say? £10,000? £250? 99p?



This is one of the ways in which I help children understand self-esteem. I explain that sometimes we see a value in ourselves and sometimes we just.... don't.


 

So why choose self-esteem as a topic for this months blog? Well... I've noticed a pattern recently and it's concerning.


As a Counsellor, I work with both adults and children and self-esteem is something that comes up regularly. To understand why as adults we struggle with a negative view of ourselves, I often turn to my Psychodynamic training to see what went on in childhood because a lot of the time, that's where it starts. In fact, in the majority of cases I can be more specific than that.... a negative view of oneself often begins between the ages of 11-17. And the main reasons I see?


Bullying

&

Unreasonable parental expectations


Don't get me wrong, there are many adverse experiences that can impact on us at different stages and affect our self-esteem but these two stand out in the work that I do.



Little children's worlds are quite small. They often don't think beyond their immediate family, pets, their best friend and their teacher. But around the time they hit secondary school, they became aware of the bigger world and this includes both judgement and perception. Children are vulnerable and exposed in these years, battling hormonal changes and trying to work out who they are and what they want from life. Throw in a good amount of criticism, judgement or humiliation and we have the foundations of poor self-esteem.


This pattern I have seen is reflective in adults. But what about children of today? Unfortunately they have an added pressure in the form of social media which is known to contribute towards low self-esteem in teens. I wonder what this will look like in 15-20 years time.... perhaps I will do a follow on blog!


 

But for now, if you work with children and they are suffering from bullying or criticism in another form, perhaps remember that alongside vulnerability comes amenability and that is where you CAN have a positive impact.



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