Children’s Self-Esteem and Parental Influence (Part Two of Three)

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on April 29, 2011 10:20 am

As a clinician, I have spoken with countless parents who have indicated an inability to unconditionally love and accept themselves, but declare an unconditional love and acceptance of their children.  My argument is this:  if parents are incapable of unconditionally approving, loving, and accepting themselves, then the children will most likely adhere to parent’s negative view of themselves, rather than adhering to the positive strokes that have been granted.  Yet, if  children receive positives strokes from negative parents, this will help insulate the children from the profound effect of the parents’ negative viewpoints of themselves, but will not completely shelter them from this negative bondage that the parents carry within their own being.

If parents see themselves in a negative light, the children learn that it is okay to defame their own being, while positively stroking the life of another. “For what I say unto you, is not what I accept for myself.”  Furthermore, if I have little love for myself, then how am I assured that I am unconditionally loving, accepting, and approving of another? For if we place conditions upon our own life, then we can be assured that we have placed conditions upon the lives of others.

Children need to be reassured, secured, and unconditionally influenced. All children need to know that no matter how well they have performed, or how poorly they have performed, that their worth is still intact.

“As a parent, you have the greatest influence in shaping your children’s sense of self-worth; you are their first and most important teacher.” (CMHA, 2011, Online) Parental influence can be an insulator or barrier for children’s ability to thrive.   As parents, we influence our children not only through our own modeling, but through the manner with which we interact with our children.   When children receive positive verbal and nonverbal communication, their ability to feel safe, secure, accepted, approved, and unconditionally loved is instilled.


Children’s self-esteem is developed through, maintained by, and influenced through their parents’ own perceptions of self.   Developing a secure sense of self in your children is influenced by your direct and indirect interactions with your children.  Furthermore, your own personal views of self, act as an unwritten guide for your children on how they might eventually view their own being. As parents, offering positive feedback and communication reinforces the positive self.  Focusing on the negative or egregious perspectives of your children’s behaviors will reinforce that they are bad and unworthy.  Therefore, it is prudent that you focus your communication and interactions on the children’s positive behaviors, attitudes, and percepts.

Developing a children’s self-esteem begins at the earliest stages of life. Therefore, it is important that the children receive positive praise, interaction, and communication during this early stage.

What are some of the key elements in developing, maintaining, and influencing a positive sense of self? Children should receive or observe:

*            A Positive Role Model and Modeling Positivity
*            Identifying Inappropriate Beliefs, Perceptions, and Worldviews
*            Providing Encouraging Words and Positive Feedback
*            Engaging in Positive Conversations and Communication
*            Maintaining a Safe, Caring and Nurturing Environment
*            Establishing Boundaries as as Safeguard
*            Treating Children Fairly and Respectfully
*            Safeguarding Against At-Risk Behaviors
*            Setting Obtainable Goals, Ambitions, and Desires
*             Making Time for Your Children
*             Insisting on Communicating with Your Children
*            Reinforcing Positive Behaviors, Attitudes, and Perceptions
*             Offering an Unconditional State of Love, Acceptance, and Approval
*             Compliment Your Children

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

0 comments on “Children’s Self-Esteem and Parental Influence (Part Two of Three)”

  1. Dear Greg L. Sharpe,

    Again, I am appreciative of your positive feedback.

    I do hope that my future articles prove equally as beneficial.

    Warm Regards,

    Dr. Asa Don Brown

  2. Greg L. Sharpe says:

    Doc, I’m inspired

  3. Gina says:

    Dr. Brown you’re hitting a homerun with me. I think your message should be spread abroad. Your messages make sense. You have a knack for hitting the target on the head and in my head. Gina

    1. Dear Gina

      You have a very kind spirit. I thank you for the very warm remarks.

      May you have a blessed day.

      Warm Regards,

      Dr. Asa Don Brown

  4. Lisa Q says:

    Dear Asa,

    Thank you for writing this insightful article. As a child who grew up in a traditional Asian family, my parents raised me with a very negative approach to discipline. I’m glad to read that there is a much more positive approach to raising children. I believe the positive approach would be so much more effective and easier on the parent and child. I also found it very useful that you went as far as including “how-to” points at the end of your article on how to incorporate this approach into your daily life.

    I look forward to part 3,


    1. Dear Lisa

      I am appreciative of your very insightful message. It sounds as though while your own childhood was constructed of a “very negative approach to discipline,” you yourself had recognized your parents errors and are now striving to counter this form of discipline in your own life and the life of your children. Finally, I thank you for your very thoughtful remarks.
      May this message and future messages prove a very positive force in your life.

      Warm Regards,

      Dr. Asa Don Brown

  5. Deborah Pickering says:

    Hi Asa,
    This is a very powerful message, in keeping with your personal and regular teachings to others. It is a lesson that, I believe, not nearly enough of us ever learn. I see it all the time, parents passing on their own insecurities to their children. It is how they were taught as children, and as a society we condone this behavior. I do hope your writing on this subject reaches far and wide as it is a wonderful guideline for parents to learn from.
    Cheers, Deb P.

    1. Dear Deb

      I appreciate your very kind remarks. You know, it’s true that we are apt to pass on the good and the bad that we know and have adapted in this life. Moreover, if we are unwilling to change these habits, conditions, insecurities, we can be certain that our children will inherit them. Therefore, it is up to us to seek the change, to desire the change, to make the change, and to maintain the change in our own lives. We will have days that we fall short, but with effort, these days will prove fewer and fewer.

      May this article continue to bless you.

      Warm Regards,

      Dr. Asa Don Brown

  6. Trevor Knill says:

    Again another great article. Very interesting! It is obvious you are very passionate about this subject. Thanks again for the great article.

    1. Dear Trevor,

      I am certainly appreciative of your very kind remarks. I am passionate about this topic and about life.

      May you catch the fire!!!

      Warm Regards,

      Dr. Asa Don Brown

  7. Tracy says:

    As a mother it is reasuring to know that even if I am continually focusing on loving and accepting myself unconditionally that this will be received by my daughters along with the unconditional love, support and understanding that I have for them. Thank you for your encouraging article.

    1. Dear Tracy,

      I am appreciative of your very kind words. Unconditional love is an amazing thing, for if we have it, we will no longer feel the insecurities that come with out it. Can we achieve a healthy balance of unconditional love? I believe so, and i firmly believe that we can share this with our children and others in our lives.

      May the remainder of the article prove a blessing.

      Warmest of Thoughts,

      Dr. Asa Don Brown

  8. Cindy says:

    This was a wonderfully helpful article! I am just starting out with my blog, and I decided to learn about readership early on so I can promote it as it begins growing.

    Your tips will definitely come in handy in my life. Thanks for writing a great article!

    Cheers 🙂 ox


    1. Cindy says:

      Could I post this article on my blog?

      1. Dear Cindy,

        I appreciate your desire to post this article, however, I must refer you to the CCPA-ACCP, for they are the owners of this site and the article.

        Again, thank you for your very kind remarks.

        Warm Regards,

        Dr. Asa Don Brown

    2. Dear Cindy,

      Thank you for your kind remarks. I am pleased that you have found them helpful.

      Warm Regards,

      Dr. Asa Don Brown

  9. Johnny Kraiglund says:

    Dr. Brown’s blog 1&2 have made me recognize that I can affect my children by my own actions. He’s got a way with words. I think his article has given me a 2nd chance as a parent and a person. It is extremely important to study both the aspects of the everyday life and the presentation of one’s current life. I’m going to recommend his blog to others. JK

    1. Dear JK,

      I certainly appreciate your very kind remarks. As parents, we should always seek to better, it’s sort of the olympian attitude. Don’t ever settle for being simply okay, rather, seek to achieve your highest quality!

      JK, i am appreciative of your comments.

      Warm Regards,

      Dr. Asa Don Brown

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