How To Build Confidence In A 12 Year Old Boy Building Self-Esteem

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Building Self-Esteem

A therapeutic model for the development of self-esteem

Many years ago, as a young graduate student, I listened to one of my favorite professors, Dr. Alan Anderson at the University of Minnesota discussing the role of birth order in the development of self-esteem. As a behaviorist, my reaction to this approach to human growth and development has generally been to dismiss the concept as irrelevant.

Dr. Anderson had a series of identical metal rocking chairs in his office, which brought back many special memories for me because my father bought just such for my mother when I was born. I shared this with dr. Anderson and he told me that when I finished my Ph.D. he would successfully give me one of his own to match the one I inherited from my parents, if I would only listen to him and come to a fuller understanding of his ideas. In the process of several years of long and long discussions he won me over and started my mind to think in a completely different direction. So I will give credit for what I am going to write here to Dr. To Alan Anderson.

Addendum to the thoughts of dr. Anderson came years of my clinical observations. I have often taught these concepts to my students and their reports have been to confirm that they have found the concepts helpful in their own clinical practice. Recently, several of my students took me to lunch and asked me to write those concepts for their benefit, if nothing else. I have chosen to take a personal and anecdotal approach to this presentation rather than a strictly scientific and research oriented one, although that may come in the revised version.

Over the years I have come to believe that the very beginnings of self-esteem development are tied to the quality of relationships between parents or significant adults in the child’s environment at birth. Children do not need to be told where they came from – they feel it innately. Mothers often report that sometime in the first trimester of pregnancy they feel a certain quality of the personality of this developing child, but that is a completely different topic and I am not in focus here.

My description of the process starts from birth. After birth, a child acquires the ability to observe its surroundings, and an important part of that observation is the ability to observe how it treats its mother. The first gift a child receives comes from observing the way he treats his mother. If the mother is treated as a valuable and valuable person, the child automatically assumes that she is also a valuable and valuable person. I tell fathers all the time how important it is how they treat and communicate with their wives. Fathers must always treat the mother of their children with respect. They should always treat and talk to her in a way that clearly indicates that they see her as a person of great worth, value and equal in power and authority in the management of family affairs.

What I learned from Dr. Anderson was guided by my thoughts and observations over the years. I claim that the first child in the family enjoys the attention of both parents until the appearance of the second child. At this point he or she turns their attention to the father as a result of the mother’s preoccupation with this new addition to the family. If this bond is established between the first child and the father, the process of developing a strong and stable self-esteem in the child continues to move in a positive direction. When this emotional bond and bond is not achieved, great difficulties may arise for the child in adult life. The first principle is that the self-esteem of the oldest child in the family largely depends on the quality of the emotional bond and relationship between the first child and the father.

The second child seems to rest comfortably with the mother, and the second principle is that the self-esteem of the second child in the family depends on the quality of the emotional bond and relationship between the second child and the mother.

The third child enters a balanced system and as a result becomes what Dr. Anderson called a “keeper.” This child seems to focus his attention on observing the quality of the relationship between the parents and actually seems to take some responsibility for preserving that relationship. The third principle is that the self-esteem of the third child in the family largely depends on the quality of the relationship between the parents.

The fourth is the “garbage collector”. He or she seems to take what is left and is influenced by the strength and quality of the family system as a whole. The fourth principle is that the self-esteem of the fourth child in the family depends on the quality of the relationship, structure and stability of the family.

With the fifth child, the process starts all over again with a slight addition. The self-esteem of the fifth child in the family depends on the quality of the emotional bond and relationship between the fifth child and the father, as well as the oldest child.

Knowing this as a place to start can be of great benefit to the clinician. If my client is the oldest child and suffers from self-esteem issues, it makes sense to at least inquire about the relationship between the client and the father. If this is productive, you’ve saved yourself some research time – if not, nothing’s lost.

Self-esteem begins with childhood experiences. The degree of self-esteem is supported by continuous successful experiences. Self-esteem is how a person feels about himself. It is a silent response to oneself — a sense of self-respect. When you have it deep inside — you’re glad it’s you. Plus you don’t need to impress others, you know you have value. Each individual’s assessment of themselves affects the kind of friends they choose, how they get along with others, what kind of person they marry, and how productive they will be. It affects creativity, integrity and stability. Self-esteem forms the core of personality and determines how an individual will use his or her aptitudes and abilities. The therapist helps the client to build a firm and wholehearted belief in himself. Strong self-esteem and self-esteem are based on the belief that they are loved, important, and have value just for existing. If they feel they are worth it, they can deal competently with their environment and know that they have something to offer others.

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