By 5 to Thrive
Improving Children’s Lives Through Education and Empowerment
To empower children by helping parents recognize the early warning signs of poor self-esteem and provide them with tools that will help their preschoolers learn to love themselves and become resilient.
To educate society, parents, teachers and other adults who influence preschool children that self-esteem is mostly developed by 5 years old and there are devastating consequences when children grow up with a poor self-image.
Poor Self-esteem has reached epidemic proportions and no segment of the population is spared its devastating effects. According to statistics from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, a child is bullied every 7 minutes on secondary school playgrounds and 85% of that bullying goes ignored.
Studies show that healthy self-esteem protects children from involvement in bullying.1But bullying, which gets the majority of the public’s attention, is far from the only damaging result of poor self-esteem.
“Incident obesity between the ages of 5 and 14 years was more likely to have occurred at younger ages, primarily among children who had entered kindergarten overweight.”
The adolescent bullying, obesity, substance abuse, addictions, poor grades, truancies and suicides of which society has become aware are not the entire problem but merely the tip of the iceberg. They are the results of the deep-rooted, underlying problem of poor self-esteem that was actually developed as very young children.
Poor self-esteem that goes unnoticed and untreated by the time a child reaches adolescence has been linked to expectations of poor health, criminal behavior and limited economic prospects during adulthood.
“By age 5 children have a sense of self-esteem comparable in strength to that of adults, according to a new study by University of Washington researchers. Because self-esteem tends to remain relatively stable across one’s lifespan, the study suggests that this important personality trait is already in place before children begin kindergarten.”
Parents need to learn to recognize the early warning signs of poor self-esteem. Fear, anxiety, worry, sadness and unworthiness are but a few examples of the negative feelings that become apparent in a child’s behavior very early on. It is important that parents recognize these symptoms and not deny them for fear of being seen by others as bad parents.
Admitting that an issue exists is only the first step to improving the healthy emotional growth of children. Parents need tools that will help them help their preschoolers learn to love themselves and become resilient, in the safety of a nurturing home environment.
Aggressive Behavior, July 28, 2001
The New England Journal of Medicine, January 30, 2014
The American Psychological Society 2006, Vol. 42, No. 2, 381–390
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, January 2016