Self-esteem is the core belief people have about themselves. Healthy self-esteem helps a person to act responsibly, cooperate well with others, deal with difficulties, and have the confidence to try new things.
The foundation of self-esteem is built during childhood. But developing self-esteem is a lifelong process.
Parents are the most significant influences on a child's self-esteem. Parents promote a child's healthy self-esteem by initiating a cycle of belonging, learning, and contributing. A sense of belonging helps a child to participate in learning new things. Learning makes a child feel confident in making contributions. And making contributions helps secure a feeling of belonging.
An unhealthy self-esteem causes problems throughout life. Mental health problems, problems with other people, and lack of confidence are some of the possible consequences of low self-esteem.
Primary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Current as ofNovember 14, 2014
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise