We are not born with a certain level of self esteem. Our self esteem is developed through time according to how we behave to people around us and how they respond to us. Early childhood experiences play a very big role in developing self esteem in the same manner as other factors of personality.
While praising a child may boost his self esteem, it has to be done with caution too. Praises should be realistic and as objective as possible. It may happen that a child who is praised in an exaggerated fashion may have a self regard that he might not be able to cope with as he grows up and challenges are becoming tougher. Children who are over praised may also become a bit idle. That is so because they get the pleasure of being praise anymore for minor tasks that they do. Very high self esteem may not be helpful too. If someone has a very high self regard, the impact of his frustrations may be multiplied a thousand folds.
Parents are not the only contributor in the development of self esteem. Teachers also play a vital part. Their comments in school, the grades that they give can either build up or ruin a child’s self esteem. This fact calls for teachers to undergo trainings or seminars about handling children at different age levels and how to handle their typical concerns at a certain developmental milestone. Teachers who are playing favorites and giving unreliable grades or subjective giving of feedbacks and rates are really devastating to a child’s self esteem. It is both devastating to the favorite pet as well as the prejudiced child.
Friends, relatives and neighbors and other people in the society also have their part in the development of a child’s self esteem. That implies that comments should be given with caution. Negative comments should be given constructively.
In adult level, a person’s self esteem is more dependent on his way of dealing with his situations. Negative feedback and failures may be channeled to a drive in making things better. At this stage, a person has a better grasp of who he is and he could delineate what is true for him from what is not. Thus, the effect of outside factors is lessened.
Boosting one’s effort may take the form of struggling to achieve more, excelling in one’s career or doing well on something that he is passionate about.