Self-esteem is the ability to feel good about oneself. It is a way of having self-confidence about yourself.
You are about reading the story of how my parents killed my self-esteem with the words of their mouths.
From my observation, it can be said that many children lack self-esteem. This is one of the reasons why children find it difficult to know what they want to be in future.
Parents fail to understand that the words of their mouth go a long way in shaping the life of a child.
Short story on self-esteem
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When I was a kid, my parents told me that I was the dumbest in the family. We are five children, and I am the third child.
My siblings are good with reading and writing but I am nowhere to be found when it comes to academic activities.
My parents used it against me. My siblings made fun of me. There was nothing I did that was ever okay with my parents.
I can always hear my father call me a ‘useless child’.
Those name calling made me feel that I was truly what my parents said that I was.
On a very good day, one of our new chemistry teachers, Mr Sunshine Peters came to our class.
After the formal introduction, he asked us one after the other what we would want to become in future.
All of my classmates mentioned great professions, unfortunately for me, I don’t know what I want to be in the future so I mentioned doctor.
The teacher asked me why I wanted to be a doctor. I repeated the response of the other children who said they would love to become a doctor. “I want to be a doctor because I love to save lives”.
Even though I don’t know the functions of doctors, giving that response was enough for me.
Mr Sunshine asked me to see him in his office after I was done for the day.
This is the first teacher to ever invite me to his office alone. Others called me useless.
‘Useless’ was my other name. If my parents think that I am useless, what reason do I have to fight outsiders for calling me ‘useless’?.
At Mr Sunshine’s office were beautiful flowers, good looking portraits and many other beautiful things that make life worth living. He asked me to sit and relax.
“I have gone through your previous academic performances in this school and noticed that they are very poor. What do you have to say about it?” Mr Sunshine started his interrogation.
“Well, it is normal. That is what I am known for. A useless child and someone who can’t be successful in anything” I responded lackadaisically.
The facial expression of Mr Sunshine suggested that there was great work to be done on me.
Mr Sunshine laughed loudly. I thought he was going crazy because I didn’t think what I said was funny.
He reached for a book “Gifted Hands” and gave it to me. He said I should read the book and ensure I returned it when next we have his class which is in two days told him that I was not good at reading. He said that that will be my Continuous Assessment, CA for the term.
Before I left, he gave me a movie “Notorious Nick“. He said I should feel free to watch the movie and keep the cassette. But I should never fail to report to his office in the next two days to give him a summary of the movie and the book he gave to me.
This was a big assignment. My CA was there on my face and I must ensure I obtain the necessary marks in the next two days.
When I got back home, I went to my room and watched the video from beginning to end.
It was indeed a video with a great message. I still wondered why he gave me the video and how it was useful to me.
All my thoughts changed when I read “Gifted Hands”. It was as if the book was written because of me.
I cried so bitterly after reading the book. I couldn’t report to school the day I was supposed to return the book.
The next day, I returned to school. I went straight to Mr Sunshine’s office and apologized for not keeping to our agreement.
I was able to give a summary of the book and the video and before me, he scored me. He told me to return to my class and refuse to agree with what people think of me.
Mr Sunshine told me to be the driver of my own life and not my parents or friends.
Those words were rooted in my heart and from that day forward, everything about me changed. There was an instant improvement in my academics.
After the PTA meeting, my parents returned home as changed persons. They apologized to me for making me feel inferior and useless.
They promised to see to it that I got all the support I needed to develop.
Gradually, my self-esteem was returning. Before I thought I was useless but after my encounter with Mr Sunshine, my whole life changed.
Drawing close to the conclusion
Why do you think that your children are useless? Why do you use abusive words when they do something wrong?
Socialization they say begins at home. Anyhow a child is trained, so shall the society feel the impacts.
That is to say, if you train your child to be a criminal, our society will also feel it because he will need to socialize with people in society.
If your child is trained with abusive ways of reasoning, our society is not safe. He will overwhelm society with what he has learnt from his family.
It is therefore very important you consciously attend to the needs of your children at all points in time.
To finalise, the tomorrow of your children solely depends on their today. So handle their today well.