During the ages of 5 to 12, children learn to do things on their own. This is the age where they feel confident in their ability to initiate and achieve goals. Negligence or restrictions on a child during such time casts doubts on his own abilities leaving him not striving for competence because of feelings of inadequacy. ~ Industry (competence) vs. Inferiority by Erik Erikson.
Social and Cultural expectations:
How a child adapts to his changing environment and the needs of his burgeoning youth determines his self confidence and self esteem.
Children from strict patriarchal families like from the Asian origin are expected to strive for family goals and not to engage in behaviors that would bring dishonor to the family. Generally, some parents tend to show very little interest in the child’s viewpoint regarding family matters. Similarly, some cultures very often undermine children as decision makers. Parenting styles tend to be authoritarian and directive. “I know what is best for my kid, I don’t need his input.” Is usually how some parents feel.
Unfavorable climate at home:
Difficult mothers and negligent fathers can stunt the emotional growth of a teen severely. Emotional neglect can haunt children all their lives. During their childhood, it can make them feel unsafe, undervalued and under protected. As they grow into adults, it can make them defiantly self reliant to a point that they can’t see anyone care for them like how only they can. This means they don’t see a real value in investing in life sustaining emotions like love and nurture.
Unrealistic aspirations from parents and peers:
Many children are naturally anxious about high expectations at home and school as they continue to learn. As they enter middle school, they are also eager to meet peer expectations. Sometimes peer expectations can be in direct conflict with parental expectations. What is cool with his peers might be an absolute no no for a child’s parent.
Effect of expectations:
Setting expectations positively or negatively can impact your child’s self confidence.
- Positively: The more you encourage good behavior the more the child is likely to work towards meeting expectations.
- Negatively: If you expect more and more, the burden of meeting expectations on moving targets falls heavily on the child.
Kids can often internalize frustration towards their parents, “How many times do I have to tell you that its becoming too much for me. How many activities have you signed me up for?” When they realize they can’t meet anyone’s expectations, children rebel.
New Environment and Adaptability:
Moving towns or even schools in the middle of their emerging youth years might be a detriment to their self worth. As we all know, finding new friends at any age can always been challenging. A child’s social intelligence and compatibility of engaging with the community will also determine in how well he will thrive.
We all want to be good parents. Here’s how you can begin.