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You are here : home > Confident Child > Self Esteem in Kids > Self Esteem v/s Self Righteousness

Self Esteem v/s Self Righteousness

There is a fine line between self-esteem and self-righteousness. Read on for more.

Welcome to the jungle. The quest is to raise a kid that has a good sense of self. You've been told that praise is the key but be careful because what you haven't been told is that this key can also open the door to a pack of troubles if praise is the only thing you do!

Praise, like any tool for raising kids, can be used inappropriately. Praise tends to imply attaching a value to a child for demonstrating particular behaviour. However, children are valuable and should be loved for the mere fact that they exist. Even though there is a connection, there is also a difference between valuing children and facilitating appropriate behaviour. While it is true that children who are valued tend to behave and perform better, children who are only praised and whose misbehaviours are not dealt with, tend to believe everything they do is all right and that the world revolves around them. This in turn leads to the development of self-righteousness.

Self-righteousness can best be described as an attitude about oneself. It is characterized by a feeling of being important to the exclusion of anyone else, so that what the child wants or feels or does, counts for everything above anyone else. Kids with this kind of attitude tend to be bossy, telling others what to do, or loners because no one else can measure up. While valuing a child is absolutely important for the development of a healthy sense of self, praise without direction, feedback and consequences, turns out to be a prescription for a self-righteous attitude.

Rather than self-righteousness, self-esteem is the true prize to be sought in terms of a child's healthy sense of self. Self-esteem is relational. With self-esteem the child not only feels good about his or herself individually, but also in relation to others. Self-righteousness is egocentric while self-esteem is social.

Children with healthy self-esteem understand and respond to limits. They feel good about themselves at no one else's expense. These children tend to be kind and considerate.

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Shilpi.6 years ago
I like it. I am working on self confidence which I initially got mixed up with self esteem. I tried out something that i learnt at amable - a parenting workshop organisation in Bangalore, India.
rakesh.8 years ago
very well writeen.
Prerna.8 years ago
a good one..although, practising the art of being a gentle disciplinarian can
be tough.
children today are perceptive and feel the need for logical answers. raising a child
who knows what they are capable of doing at their age goes a long way in building their
self-confidence. letting them do things for themselves like - putting on their socks and shoes,
wearing their dress, brushing their teeth etc. even from a tender age of say 2/3 years can really
help. and yes, the praise that goes with it should be appropriate in that it made the parent proud.
as for the other part of the behaviour, being firm yet gentle helps. accountability needs to be taught
to the child with examples and they do know that , saying something or doing something is not good.

just my thoughts..
on the whole an excellent one for parents.
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