Establishing Self Worth

Establishing Self Worth

How do we measure our self worth? We all want our children to have a strong self worth that is grounded intrinsically but this is not always the case. When I was a child, many years ago, the term unconditional love was very popular. This meant to love someone not because they behave in a certain way but because of who they are, a daughter or son, a member of our family, a human being. We want our children to know that they are loved but sometimes they may feel that the love is conditional. They may get their self worth validated only if they behave a certain way, or achieve a certain standard.

Individuals that go through life measuring their self worth by external measures are sure to be disappointed. As a child they may feel that they are only deserving of self worth if they are at the top of their class, on a winning team, or are attractive. Children need to know that their self worth is stable, this gives them security to challenge themselves, to take risks, to be a little different. This allows them to fail and still be OK, to admit shortcomings and still be confident, and to not follow the crowd and stand alone sometimes. Not everyone is at the top of the class or physically athletic or attractive and that should not be the measuring stick. They have worth, despite their imperfections and foolish behaviors.

According to Glenn R. Schiraldi author of The Self Esteem Workbook, “It is impossible to earn core worth through personal performance or any other external. It already exists.” If we can teach our children this we have given them a beautiful gift.

When our children hit the teen years, if they still feel pressure to achieve self worth then they will be measuring themselves through social media and peer approval. This is extremely stressful for a child that does not feel like they are able to measure up. We want to give our children a foundation that is much more stable and unshaken by the whim of the teen criterion. It is inevitable that a teen will be faced with peer pressure and disapproval, giving your child the cooping skills to handle this and not let it derail them is the goal.

Letting circumstances or others determine worth gives them inappropriate control and power.


Let’s give our children and each other the gift of worth, not to be measured by society or individuals but firmly established and grounded in themselves.

By Lisa Strong

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