Is self-control a more effective measure than self-esteem for raising well-adjusted and higher achieving children?
Childhood is an important stage of psychological development, which
has a lasting effect on people’s personalities and conduct throughout adulthood
and the remainder of their lives
A socially well-adjusted child is one that distinguishes between
the self and others, has the ability to understand, express, and regulate
emotions, and possess the ability to feel, reason, and behave morally
The effects of self-esteem versus self-control on raising children were chosen for several reasons:
The first is that the self-esteem
movement which started in the 1970’s
The second reason is that inflated praise of children has been the
immediate byproduct of the self-esteem movement, which recent research
indicates that it is negatively correlated to self-esteem
The third reason is that raising well-adjusted children is a
complicated, laborious, and time-intensive process, which should be preparing
children to be able to take care of themselves
After presenting the reasons, what follows is: defining self-esteem, self-control, and their relationship with each other, and their impact on childhood development.
Self-esteem is defined as the person’s sense of self-worth and
Self-control on the other hand is another self-concept, where individuals
exert conscious control over their impulses and behaviors
A strong correlation exists between self-control and achievement,
for individuals to be able to accomplish difficult tasks; they must be able to
suppress the impulse for instant gratification
There is a popular assumption that self-esteem is nurtured through praise,
however this assumption is not supported scientifically. A 2017 journal article
was produced as a result of a longitudinal study conducted in the Netherlands
that studied the effect of praise on self-esteem. Its findings showed that
moderate praise had no to minimal impact on self-esteem; however inflated
praise had a negative impact by deflating self-esteem. Moreover, the same study
also found that inflated praise was correlated with narcissism in children with
high self-esteem, even though there is no direct correlation between
self-esteem and narcissism in children
Raising children’s self-esteem is not a direct and straightforward process;
it can be nurtured indirectly though bonding with their parents, and having
their parents show interest in their activities
As a conclusion, the research that was cited in this literature
review indicated self-control resulted in well-adjusted and high achieving children
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