Guiding Your Kid’s Self Concept

Guiding Your Kid’s Self Concept

Sep 01, 2022

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What is self concept? How is it different from self esteem? Is it your responsibility as a parent to help shape your child’s self concept?

In this episode, I’m talking all about self concept - what it is, why it matters and how it forms.

 

What Is Self Concept?

Self concept is a collection of thoughts you think about yourself. It’s different from self-esteem because esteem is more how you feel about yourself. 

How you think about yourself determines how you feel about yourself. And how you feel determines how you act.  

So you can see how important self concept is when it comes to our daily lives.  It affects our motivations, attitudes, behaviors and lots of other factors.

When a person thinks and says kind things about themselves, they are comfortable in their own skin. They have confidence. They are willing to take risks. They are less critical of others. They just feel good about themselves, and that’s a great predictor of success.

 

How Does Self Concept Form?

Prior to adolescence, a child doesn’t spend much time thinking about themselves - how they are seen, how they fit in, who they are. They just are. That’s what childhood is all about.

With the onset of puberty and adolescence (typically during the middle school years), a child begins the process of creating a self concept. 

So where does self concept come from? Where does it originate?

Children inherit their self-concept from parents, grandparents, teachers and other adults. They compare themselves to their siblings and create thoughts about themselves based on how they relate to their siblings. They also absorb ideas from our culture - what it means to be a girl or a boy, how bodies should look, ideas of what success looks like, etc.

And, of course, they are surrounded by other kids who are also developing their own self concepts. They might pick up some of these thoughts and make them their own. Others will be tossed aside. 

 

Your Role as a Parent

As a parent, we have control over some of the factors that influence our kids, like the communities we live in or what social media influences we allow.

But there are also many influences that are outside our control, and some of these don’t align with what we want our kids to think and feel about themselves and others.

It’s your child’s job to find the pieces of their self-concept, choosing which thoughts to keep and which to throw away. 

So what can you do as a parent to guide them in the process?

  • Share your values with your kids, have conversations with them.
  • Practice thinking positive thoughts about your kids - things that you really want them to believe about themselves.
  • Speak those positive beliefs out loud to them - over and over again.  

Your collection of thoughts about your child is the story they inherit. The more lovely and compelling it is, the more likely those are the thoughts they will pick up. 

Believing that your kids are OK exactly as they are and believing that they are lovable, acceptable, and that they belong in society - even if they present in ways that go against social norms - has a HUGE impact on how kids think about themselves.

Listen to the full podcast episode for specific examples and some of my favorite tools to help you along the way.

 

You’ll Learn:

  • The 3 parts that make up a person’s self concept
  • My favorite exercise for thinking positive thoughts about your kids
  • How to “trick” your kids into thinking amazing things about themselves 

 

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As we move further into the new school year, I want you to remember…As a parent you get to choose what’s important to you and what you value.

School is ONE part of a child’s life. It’s not all of it. Their academic performance is one measurement of their “success” but it’s not the only one.

When a kid feels good and has a positive self concept, they are much more likely to reach their academic potential.

That’s why I teach my clients how to emotionally coach their kids and help their kids develop a kick-ass self concept that has nothing to do with their external performance and everything to do with the collection of thoughts they have about themselves.

Join Calm Mama Club now and get coached on supporting your kid’s self concept this week on one of our live coaching calls.

See you inside!