Self-respect not to be confused with self-esteem (Part 2)

Today I am continuing on with the summary of the lecture that Dr Toni Noble gave titled ‘Developing your self-respect’.

There are 5 building blocks that are helpful in developing self-respect.

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1. Respect for others
Our values guide our behaviours. eg compassion, kindness, honesty.  We need to put these into practice even in difficult situations.  Also, we need to learn to extend compassion and support towards others and try to help others in trouble.

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2. Self knowledge

Be aware of what strengths you have. There is a list of 25 character strengths that Seligman and Peterson developed.  (There are different tests on line that can be taken, see www.viastrengths.org)

Focus more on your strengths than on your limitations.

3. Self management

Adopt a positive approach to life, one that has gratitude. (I happened to read 2 fantastic blogs today on exactly this and was truly thankful and amazed how it helped – I was in a ‘woe is me spot’ when I started the day!  They are overtly Christian, but for those interested the link is how to raise grateful kids )

Trust your own judgement, yet at the same time be open to advice.  We need to be able to balance pride with humility!

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4. Self control

We seem to have a spreading epidemic of self-regulation failure, this is not the same as low self-esteem.  Kids today are surrounded by so much technology that is highly distracting eg. using the computer for school work, but at the same time there is such easy access to other things.

Toni Noble mentioned the research involving the marshmallow test (the research is by Mischel et al). It has longitudinal data following children who were tested at the age of 4 who are now adults in their 40’s.  Briefly, a 4 year old was placed in a room with a marshmallow and told that if they waited until the person got back without touching the one in front of them, then they would get another one. The wait was approximately 15 minutes.

What the research has found that now, at age 40, out of those who waited there is a high percent who are  academically successful in life, whereas out of those who did not wait there is a higher percent of people with social problems, obesity issues and drug use. (Even Wikipedia has a summary of the test ‘Stanford marshmallow experiment”)

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5. Self protect

If a person has self-respect then self-protect follows.  A person will not let others bully or hurt them, they will be healthier in life style and not put themselves down.

There is so much in these 5 building blocks! Each building block provides a topic with so many possibilities for the classroom.  These topics wold also make great dinner time conversations with families! What does it mean to have self respect?

Educate for self-respect, not self-esteem.

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Self-respect not to be confused with self-esteem (part 1)

The following is my attempt to summarise the thought provoking public lecture that Toni Noble gave last Wednesday evening at St Peters College. It will take at least 2 blogs. The information I believe is appropriate for any one who relates to children. I hope you enjoy.

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The lecture was opened with a question – “True or false: kids who bully other kids have a low self esteem?” I have to admit that I was surprised to learn ‘false’. Often bully’s have an inflated view of self worth.

The second true or false question was “Do young people with a high self-esteem perform better academically?” The answer to that was also false and Toni mentioned that this illustrates the failure of the self esteem movement.

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Toni defined self-esteem as a person’s self perception and evaluation which is not necessarily reality.  It is conditional, self defeating and ultimately destructive.

In 1995 Seligman found that bolstering self-esteem actually erodes a persons sense of worth because it emphasizes how ones ‘feels’ rather than what ones ‘does’ and that may lead to being vulnerable to depression. For example, a child may feel they are brilliant at sport, but in reality they may be average.  When the realisation comes that they are not brilliant, it can be difficult to process.

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Whereas self respect is “an attitude of self-acceptance and approval for your own character and conduct.  Having self-respect means you are more likely to be successful and happy and earn the respect of others.” (Lecture notes by Toni Noble – Developing your self-respect)

At this stage, there is very little research for self-respect and children.

You can’t have too much self respect, but you can have too much self-esteem.

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