May 12, 2016

Maybe Justin Bieber got it right (at least about one thing)

The catchy melody and lyrics to the newer Justin Beiber song, “Love Yourself”, that is played on the radio on an hourly basis actually represent a value that impacts daily living for all human beings, and especially for developing children and adolescent.

Self-esteem, or as dictionary.com defines it: a realistic respect for or favorable impression of oneself; self-respect, is crucial for children and adolescents who are learning more about themselves, their identity, and how they will fit into the world around them. Having a healthy and positive self-esteem can help to promote the self-advocacy, social skills, and confidence that is helpful and at times necessary to work through various challenges that life brings ones’ way.

Children and adolescent’s self-esteem are influenced by situations out of their control as well as by people who may intentionally or unintentionally put them down. Math tests, being picked for teams in gym, auditioning for a play, and which lunch table to sit at are just a few examples of the events in a child or adolescent’s daily lives that may impact how they are feeling about themselves in a given moment. When a child or adolescent experiences an upsetting situation such as doing poorly on a spelling test or striking out in a baseball game, they will be able to cope with the adversity easier if they have a foundation of a positive and healthy self-esteem. It’s not to say that they wont be upset by what they’ve experienced—that is perfectly normal and healthy to experience upset—they will however recover from it and set their mind on the next opportunity for success.

There are a variety of ways for a child or adolescent to develop and/or strengthen their self-esteem so that they (and you as parents feel assured that they) are able to power through the myriad adversities—big or small—that will inevitably come their way. Some ideas for helping a child to develop and build upon their self-esteem are to provide them the time and space to talk with a trusted adult in their life about anything that they want. Open and honest conversation can provide clarity where they may have confusion as well as healthy communication. Setting time aside in each day for them to do something that they enjoy, whether it be reading, painting, or playing MineCraft—allowing them time to feel successful and un-judged will help their self-esteem.

When it seems as though a child or adolescent’s self-esteem is often negative it can profoundly impact the way that they carry through their days, and it will impact you as a parent seeing your child or adolescent struggle. Therapeutic intervention may be necessary for a child or adolescent who appears down and lacking self-esteem on a regular basis. Speaking with an unbiased professional as well as learning and practicing coping strategies and interventions that will help them boost their self-esteem, in a safe and confidential environment can truly help them turn around their low self-esteem so that they are regularly feeling confident and prepared to take on any day.

Justin Bieber’s lyrics say, “you should go and love yourself”, and all to often that is easier said (or sung) than done.  Lumiere Children’s Therapy recently added a Licensed Clinical Social Worker to its team of professionals that help children and families thrive!

Call today to schedule an evaluation for your child or adolescent to begin treatment towards strengthening their self-esteem today at (312)242-1665.

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