Self esteem can have a positive or negative effect on a child. It all depends on the life situations of the individual child and how much support they receive from their family and friends, as well as everyone else with whom they interact. While good self esteem is extremely important, some children go too far and experience feelings of being self important that far surpass the norm and can actually lead to major problems, including egotism, which can result in difficulty holding a job and effectively interacting with other people. For this reason, it’s important to identify signs of self importance and how to determine if it’s unwarranted or it it’s at a positive level.
What Is Self Importance?
Egotism is often used as a synonym for self importance.
Why Is Self Awareness Important?
Self awareness is a skill that allows children to consider what they are doing and judge their own behavior, as well as react appropriately in social situations. This also allows children to gauge what others are feeling and determine the best way to interact with him. Building feelings of self awareness in children from early stages can provide a vast array of benefits. When a child has good self awareness skills, they will:
- Be able to recognize strengths and weaknesses
- Identify how to complete a task
- Identify errors in schoolwork and correct them
- Understand and talk about their feelings
- Recognize others’ feelings and their needs
- Identify how their behavior impacts others
When children don’t have these skills, it can make interacting with others and surviving in social situations more difficult. When these skills are properly developed, children will find it easier to function in all areas of their life, including in school and work situations, as well as in friendships and other personal relationships.
To help your child develop a sense of self awareness, one of the most important things parents can do is allow them to be themselves. When parents try to mold children into the person they want them to be, it can make children feel like they aren’t important and can actually have a negative impact on their self esteem. Providing an emotionally secure environment is also a necessity. There are also games you can play with your child to help him develop better self awareness skills, such as asking them to look in a mirror and describe what they see.
Why Is Self Esteem Important?
Self esteem can be a powerful driving factor in determining how a child feels about himself/herself and how effectively he/he is able to interact with others. Some of the important reasons why self esteem is important include:
- Helping them feel like they can do anything they want with their lives
- Giving confidence to try something new
- Feeling more confident in being able to do things for themselves
- Decreasing the risk of developing depression or feeling stressed in many situations
- Helping them feel more connected to family and friends
What Can You Do?
To help your child set a solid foundation on which to build good levels of self esteem, there are things you can do as a parent. The main idea is to help your child feel comfortable with who he is and what he likes to do. The following are a few ways you can contribute to healthy self esteem for your children:
- Be careful of what you say around your child. Even implying negative characteristics can make your child feel less valued and important.
- Identify any misconceptions and help revert your child’s thinking. If your child develops a misconstrued negative self image, it’s up to you to help him see the correct views.
- Be affectionate. Your child wants to feel loved. As a parent, this is one of your main roles from the moment your child is born and even before.
- Create a safe, loving environment in your home. When your child feels safe at home, he will be more confident to try new things and meet new people.
- Promote healthy, engaging experiences. Some children, especially those who already have low self esteem, may not find it easy to find new hobbies or activities they may enjoy. Suggest new ideas based on your child’s current interests to help him interact with others.
When Is It Too Much?
One of the biggest questions parents have is when does a sense of healthy self esteem cross the line into something out of hand. Egotism, which is often described as unwarranted self importance, can create a number of issues in your child’s life. An over-inflated sense of self can lead to feeling like you’re better than other people. When your child thinks and acts like everyone else is below them, it hurts their relationships and causes a number of other problems.
If you suspect your child is exhibiting self important behavior, it may be time to pay closer attention to help guide your next step. Children who have an inflated sense of self importance may:
- Distance themselves from other children
- Exhibit negative behaviors if they feel they are failing at school
- Act superior when interacting with their peers
- Arguing with parents, teachers and other children
- Expressing their superiority on a regular basis
Truly listening to what your child has to say can be valuable in helping you determine if your child has a healthy level of self esteem or if the self important attitude has become more than it should be.
Balancing self importance and self awareness
Bringing a child down from self importance can be a delicate balancing act. You don’t want to tear your child down to a point his self esteem drops below healthy levels, but you can’t allow this type of behavior to continue. Regardless of the approach you take, you will need to pay attention to your child’s cues and follow his lead to guide you through the process. The most important factor is to make sure you treat your child with love and respect along every step of the way.
One of the best ways to help your child is to set a good example. If you are constantly talking down about your neighbors or friends behind their backs, your children will most likely mirror this behavior. Instead, make sure your child sees you react in humility so they can model that behavior instead.
Another great way you can help bring your child down to a healthier level of self esteem is to help them volunteer. For instance, take your child to a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter to serve lunch or pass out necessities to those in need. You can also help them clean out their room and donate some of the toys and clothes they no longer uses to the less fortunate. This type of behavior can instill humility.
While you should always feel good about yourself, self importance is an entirely different story. Unwarranted self importance is an attitude can cause a lot of problems for children, especially as they get older. Regardless of the cause behind your child’s feelings, it’s up to you as a parent to take the right steps to help guide them toward a healthier sense of self esteem and more successful relationships. To help your child be successful in life, work on improving his self awareness and self esteem without inflating his self importance.