There are many definitions and texts describing self-esteem, but I will write the one related to teenagers and students.

By self-esteem we mean the concept that one person has of themselves according to subjectivable and appreciatory qualities, that is: a student’s self- esteem will be related to the value and assessment they receive from their environment, and that they experiment as positive or negative for themselves.

Self- esteem in children and teenagers

A good self-esteem is one of the most valuable assets for a child.

An individual with low self-esteem thinks badly of themselves, shows a lack of confidence in their capacities and even quits projects or activities because they feel incapable of carrying them out.

A student with confidence in oneself feels worthier, more valuable to the world and capable of facing situations in a positive way. This is because they feel good in their skin, believe in their capacities, and also they feel comfortable enjoying life as it is with its challenges to be met.

Thus, a child who accepts their capacities and limitations, is well regarded by their classmates and gets on well with their educator will feel included in the environment and will have a good self-esteem. On the contrary, a student with problems to accept themselves as they are, not confident about their capacities or incapable of accepting their own skills and even their limitations may think they are not being accepted by others, feel rejected and eventually will develop a low self-esteem.

Regarding this concepts from an educational point of view we can say that:

Students with a good self-esteem learn more efficiently, develop more pleasant personal relations, are more capable of working productively using all the skills and tools they have, and eventually are more self-sufficient and have a greater knowledge of the goals they want to achieve. Moreover, they are more independent, willing to take up responsibilities, they will address challenges positively, they will be proud of their achievements, will show a wide range of emotions and feelings, and will cope with frustration in a healthy way. Furthermore, if a teenager finishes this stage in their lives with a strong and well developed self-esteem, he or she will be able to move forward to their adulthood with their suitcase full of kills and tools necessary to lead a productive and satisfactory life.

In everyday life, self-esteem affects children and teenagers in the way they feel; how they think, learn and create; how they regard themselves and value their capacities; also in their relationship with others, and virtually their whole social behaviour.

The four key aspects for self-esteem

Self-esteem can be developed when children and teenagers experience in a positive way these four well defined key aspects:

  1. Connection: this is the result of the satisfaction a child/teenager feels when they establish relationships which are important to them and are regarded as important by the others.
  2. Singularity: this is the result of the knowledge and respect the child/teenager has for those qualities that make them special and different. This “singular self” concept is supported by the others’ respect and approval of these singular qualities.
  3. Willpower: the capacity a child/teenager has to use the means and skills they have to modify their lives in a positive way.
  4. Models: guidelines a child/teenager takes as a reference to show them the right human, philosophical and practical examples to build their own scale of values, ideals and goals.


In my next post I will write about ways of reinforcing self-esteem in the classroom.

Thanks again for reading the blog. Your comments and feedback are welcomed and appreciated.


Author: Mónica Rivas