I’ll start by saying that I’m neither a psychologist, nor old, but I have been alive almost four decades, I was once a kid, and I’m a mother–so, let’s think of this as (Armchair) Psychology. Hopefully that qualifies me to share a little background on life, learning to fit in, doing so with style and grace … and staying true to who YOU are. Here are some important concepts you’ll find in the story:
Self-esteem: I really like the way Kids Health dot com identifies self-esteem as “the collection of beliefs or feelings we have about ourselves, our ‘self-perceptions.’ How we define ourselves influences our motivations, attitudes, and behaviors and affects our emotional adjustment … Healthy self-esteem is a child’s armor against the challenges of the world. Kids who feel good about themselves seem to have an easier time handling conflicts and resisting negative pressures. They tend to smile more readily and enjoy life. These kids are realistic and generally optimistic.”
“Self-esteem isn’t bragging about how great you are. It’s more like quietly knowing that you’re worth a lot (priceless, in fact!). It’s not about thinking you’re perfect — because nobody is — but knowing that you’re worthy of being loved and accepted.” It’s such an important concept, whether you’re a boy or a girl, young or old; it doesn’t matter where you’re from or what religion you may or may not practice. Self-esteem is important for everyone.
- North Carolina State University | Self-Esteem in Childres
- More 4 Kids | Parenting and Building Your Child’s Self-Esteem
- Girl Scouts of America | Facts & Findings
- Kids Health | Developing Your Child’s Self-Esteem
- Kids Health | The Story on Self-Esteem
Empowerment: I like the way that the California Psychics describe empowerment. “Empowerment is more than some sentimental words posted visibly near your desk or on your bathroom mirror. It’s a mantra, something you say so many times that you feel it down to your core. You don’t just believe you are a beautiful divine being, you know it. Empowerment is being able to take responsibility for your own choices, actions and happiness. Other peoples’ actions may affect your life, but your reaction will always belong to you.”
Peer pressure: According to Parenting-Ed.org, “Peer pressure takes place when a child does something he or she does not want to do as a result of being pressured by peers. Peer pressure is a part of almost all children’s lives. All children experience peer pressure and give in to it at one time or another. While parents can’t protect their children from experiencing peer pressure, there are steps they can take to minimize its effects.”
And a report on MSNBC Today notes “While peer pressure can technically start in early childhood with children trying to get other kids to play the games they want, it really becomes more of an issue in the preteen and teen years. It’s not always negative, but in some cases it can create problems for families … Peer pressure is not always negative. In fact friends often encourage each other to study, try out for sports or to try new interests in the arts. But these are years of experimentation and sometimes risk taking in an attempt to find their identity and feel “larger than life.” To that end, some kids may try to pressure your child to behave in a manner that is dangerous.”
- MSNBC | Preteens and Peer Pressure
- KidsHealth.org | Dealing with Peer Pressure
These are all very important concepts that you learn as you go through life … hopefully, with stories like Peggy Noodle, Hula Hoop Queen, you can look through the mirror into someone else’s life and see what challenges they face, and how they overcome them.