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Strive for good self-esteem throughout life

Lighthouse column
By: Angela Ponivas Special to The News Messenger
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Strive for good self-esteem throughout life By Angela Ponivas Special to The News Messenger Self-esteem affects so many aspects of our lives. Self-esteem affects interactions in relationships, affects our achievement levels and affects our own sense of happiness and well-being. For parents, it’s important to understand how self-esteem plays into the behavior of a child and learn how to build positive self-esteem in our children because low self-esteem can lead to misbehavior. The child who believes he/she is bad tailors his/her actions to fit this view, leading to a more firmly entrenched inner conviction that he/she is “bad.” Many youth and adults, whose behavior is detrimental to themselves and society as a whole, privately believe they are hopelessly inadequate and worthless. They grope for personal meaning and fulfillment, and their misdirected efforts lead to a lower self-identity. The youth with high self-esteem is rarely the problem child. He/she walks, talks, works, learns, plays and lives differently from the one who dislikes himself/herself. The inner security radiates outwardly in his/her actions. As adults, such individuals are better able to work constructively on problems and inequities that exist in our world. The child with self-respect is likely to be a constructive member of society. Self-esteem can be defined as how you feel about yourself inwardly, not whether you can put up a good front or accumulate wealth and status. The very term, self-confidence, means inner sureness. It says that, at the core, you trust your capacities and you act accordingly. Angela Ponivas is the Lighthouse Counseling & Family Resource Center’s executive director. Her phone is 645-3300 and Web site is lighthousefrc.com.