There are shelves of books about the importance of a child’s self-esteem, but I want to point out a crucial difference between self-esteem and Inherent Worth. Our Inherent Worth is absolute. Our IW just is. It doesn’t depend on what we do or what we don’t do. It is non-negotiable - it just is. It is easy to see the truth of this when a baby is born. No one comes into the world any other way. We were all equally naked. It stands to reason then, that our worth is not established:
Self-esteem that is generated from climbing a ladder higher than someone else – such as winning a competition or getting a higher grade or more goals is a double-edged sword. It leads to the idea that people have different worth – someone is always higher on the ladder than we are and so this can lead to subconscious feelings of unworthiness. If you define your worth by your achievements, there is a risk that you’ll believe you are worthless if you fail. We can have self-esteem based on the evidence of our achievements, but feel worthless subconsciously because those achievements led me to believe that worth is conditional.
Five ways to help your child own his/her Inherent Worth:
I’m passionate about prevention of substance abuse, depression, bullying, and suicide in teens, and I’ve chosen to spend my time helping parents to raise resilient, bully-proof, addiction-free kids. I know firsthand the emotional and financial costs of having a troubled teenager and I don’t want that to happen to you.