“CHILDREN LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE” WHILE BUILDING THEIR SELF-ESTEEM

PUBLIC SERVICE ARTICLE
“CHILDREN LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE” WHILE BUILDING THEIR SELF-ESTEEM

Joseph W. Ferrara, EdD
www.soundmentalhealth.com

Remember, recall the child you used to be?  What was Mom, Dad and family like? Were you wanted?  What was your life like during your childhood?  What moods, attitudes, values/standards and goals did you learn regarding human worth and life?  What is today like for you and your future?  As a child, adolescent and adult, we consciously, subconsciously and unconsciously learn who we are by what we see, hear, think/fantasize and feel which is experienced as our perceptual reality and life.  From the poem “Children Learn What They Live” by “unknown author”, consider the following significant changes of content which characterizes directly the value, worth and importance we learn to place on our sense of self, i.e., our personhood or self-concept in building our self-esteem and managing our life as we live in the rivalous world at large.

If we live with shaming and blaming,
we learn to condemn–
If we live with anger and hostility,
we learn to fight–
If we live with fear,
we learn to be apprehensive and insecure–
If we live with pity,
we learn to regret and feel sorry for ourselves–
If we live with envy and jealousy,
we learn to feel guilty and unworthy–
If we live with encouragement,
we learn to be self-assured and confident–
If we live with tolerance,
we learn to be kind and patient–
If we live with praise,
we learn to be appreciative and grateful–
If we live with acceptance and approval,
we learn to love–
If we live with genuine recognition
we learn it is good to have rational goals–
If we live with fairness–
we learn what justice is–
If we live with honesty,
we learn the value of truth–
If we live with security,
we learn to trust ourselves and others–
If we live with helpfulness and friendliness,
we learn the world is a safe and happy place in which to live.