web analytics
September 24, 2014 / 29 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Who Is Recharging Your Battery?


Schild-Edwin

Shelly came in for therapy due to her severe depression and anxiety. Her sense of self was nil; she felt useless and a failure and was scared of what for most of us are regular daily events. During her therapy sessions, Shelly was able to discover the relationship between her mental health problems and the fact that she grew up with a single mother who had her when she was only eighteen years old. She remembered her mother constantly criticizing her and blaming her for taking away her own teen years. Shelly never knew her father or grandparents and was rarely praised for anything. Now, at twenty-four, she is unable to stay in a meaningful relationship, has changed jobs frequently and is always sad.

Regesh’s approach of working with children and youth within the context of their family has been greatly successful. However, this approach alone is not what helped us accomplish that. Over the years we have come to realize what our “secret weapon” is. Whether it’s working with kids in residential treatment, in school-based programs, in family therapy or with kids on the streets, positive changes in the child (and adults as well) stem from promoting and enhancing his or her sense of self worth or self-esteem. Of course, there have been volumes and volumes of literature on self-esteem. However, I want to share with you an approach we have used to develop good mental health in ourselves and our children.

I’d like to share some valuable insights that, with clear and meaningful understanding, will have a tremendous impact on our family’s future. The simple meaning of the term self-esteem is having an understanding of one’s self worth. Positive self-esteem means knowing and appreciating yourself. One’s self-esteem is related to many of our personality characteristics. For instance, positive self-esteem is directly related to personal control. It would be very unusual to find someone with positive self-esteem and poor personal control. A strong, positive sense of self worth is therefore critical to strive for.

Where does positive self-esteem come from? When does the development of positive self-esteem start? Almost at birth. Good self-esteem and basic trust develop from our caregivers who promote feelings of success within us. This is primarily done in one way – praise, praise and more praise. When infants hear positive adult excitement – for example, when they turn over, smile, clap, or just open their eyes – their brain interprets this feeling as goodness. As the child gets older and understands language, the verbal praise is interpreted in positive ways as well. After the initial caregivers, in the best case scenario, the child then gets good reinforcement from teachers and peers. This external praise and positive sense of self continues to reinforce the child’s self-esteem.

Here is where your personal “battery” comes in. Imagine your self-esteem as an internal battery. The battery is being used constantly throughout one’s life; day in and day out. A person’s sense of self is constantly challenged throughout the day – we face confrontations, criticisms, and personal challenges at school, work and in relationships. Like all batteries, as it’s used, it must be recharged. As noted before, when we are young our self-esteem batteries are recharged by others. Hopefully, our caregivers, teachers, friends and others are reinforcing the positive self-esteem in our daily living. Throughout this period, the child’s battery needs to be recharged and is done so primarily by external praise and reinforcement of others.

However, with time, something major happens. We call it “adolescence” and it’s a difficult transition for all involved. A major component of adolescence is developing one’s own sense of self-identity. A common stress for adolescents is trying to figure out “Who am I.” In fact, the rebellious nature of teens is usually their only means to establish this sense of self. The teen does this by rejecting and pushing away those he believes are holding him back from developing his own self-identity. Rather than allow himself to be identified as the child of his parents, he tries to become his own person. It is during this period of time that we will hear comments like, “Let me make my own mistakes.” “Leave me alone.” “It’s my life.” and other such phrases. This developmental phase of rebelliousness is noted by pushing others away, and instead of having their parents supporting them and reinforcing them, the teens will create situations that cause their parents to reprimand and distance themselves. The problem, for the most part, is the lack of their self-esteem batteries getting recharged by others. That is, instead of getting praise and feeling good, the teen often feels rejected as he rejects others.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Who Is Recharging Your Battery?”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
NY rally against Met Opera's 'Death of Klinghoffer' opera. Sept. 22, 2014.
New York City Site of Huge Rally Against Met’s Klinghoffer Opera
Latest Sections Stories
book-diversity-divine

For each weekly reading, Rabbi Grysman begins with a synopsis of the Torah portion, followed by a focus on a major issue.

South-Florida-logo

It’s Rosh Hashanah. A new year. Time for a fresh start. Time for a new slate. Time for change.

South-Florida-logo

Governor Rick Scott visited North Miami Beach/Aventura on the morning of Wednesday, September 17.

South-Florida-logo

While the cost per student is higher than mainstream schools, Metzuyan Academy ESE is a priceless educational opportunity for children with special needs in South Florida.

Challah-pa-looza helped get the community ready and excited about the upcoming Jewish New Year.

Miami businessman and philanthropist Eli Nash had many in tears as he shared his story of the horrific abuse he suffered from age 8 to 11.

As optimistic as Menachem Rosenberg is – and he said he is going to Uman – he’s sure that this year, most of the travelers will not tour other religious sites or places in Ukraine.

Three sets of three-day Yomim Tovim can seem overwhelming – especially when we are trying to stay healthy.

Is a missed opportunity to do a mitzvah considered a sin?

The sounds and scents of the kitchen are cozy, familiar, but loud in the silence.

Everyone has a weakness. For some people it is the inability to walk past a sales rack without dropping a few hundred dollars. For others, it’s the inability to keep their house organized.

Not enjoying saying no, I often succumbed to requests viewing them as demands I couldn’t refuse.

His entire life was dedicated to Torah and he became a pivotal figure in the transmittal of the Oral Torah to the next generation.

When you don’t have anyone else to turn to… that’s when you’re tied to Hashem the closest.

More Articles from Edwin Schild
Schild-Edwin

Interestingly, sometimes people who have a very high self-awareness may experience intense reactions to circumstances that others might respond to more mildly.

Schild-Edwin

We define stress as the feeling we get when there is too much to do and too little time to do it in.

I’d like to share some valuable insights that, with clear and meaningful understanding, will have a tremendous impact on our family’s future

Josh is only nine years old, yet he’s an addict. How is that possible? You’re wondering where he gets his drugs from, how does his addiction manifest itself and if there are treatment plans.

often find myself telling clients, “There is no such thing as emotions!” Then I wait for their reactions. My hope is that the client will challenge me, as obviously we all experience emotions. It’s the way we are wired.

In Part I talked about celebrating 30 years of Regesh Family and Child Services providing services to children, teens and families. I shared the agency’s origin and the many lessons I have learned through this journey. As I mentioned, it is my hope that my experiences will add to your toolbox of life skills.

As I look back, it is clear that I learned much as an administrator and therapist – and as an individual experiencing life. I hope you will stay with me as I reminisce.

I know what you are thinking. What possible situation could cause a professional to advise a parent to “Pray hard that your children ignore you”?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/who-is-recharging-your-battery/2014/05/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: