(NC) — When it comes to school, it is not necessary to get A’s, or even to pass, in order for students to have high self-esteem. For students of all ages, feeling good about their abilities comes from the confidence of knowing that their minds are capable of understanding, and from learning and that they are worthy people, say experts in this field.
Indeed, a healthy self-esteem doesn’t always mean perfect grades the first time. According to Dr. Nick Whitehead, the CEO of Oxford Learning, some students with high self-esteem have only mediocre marks. That’s because those students have learned a very important lesson: that trying is as important as success and that overcoming failure and learning from mistakes are essential to development.
Dr. Whitehead points out that parents can tell if children have healthy self-esteem by observing their actions.
“Pay attention to what your child does and says. Is he or she a leader or follower or somewhere in between? Having a balance would reasonably suggest that healthy self-esteem is developing.”
To evaluate this, ask the following questions:
• Does your child have an independent mind?
• Is s/he willing to act on his/her knowledge?
• Does all learning have to be highly structured or does s/he accept sudden change?
• Can your child willingly accept difficulty, or deal with failure?
• When confronted by failure, does s/he blame somebody else? Or does your child take responsibility for his or her own learning experiences and results?
• Is your child content just to get by with average achievement (so as not to stand out from his peer group) or does s/he try to excel?
Confidence is key to classroom success, says Dr. Whitehead, so keep tabs on your child’s self-esteem, especially as they enter pre-teen/teenage years and social pressures begin to mount. Evaluate your own communication and interaction as well. Do your part to help young students feel good about who they are and what they can achieve, both inside and outside the classroom.