web analytics
October 23, 2014 / 29 Tishri, 5775
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
Chaye Zissel Braun Grave
Convicted Terrorists Still Have Drivers’ Licenses, But . . .
Latest Sections Stories

It is important for a therapist to focus on a person’s strengths as a way of overcoming his or her difficulties.

Sadly, there are mothers who, due to severe depression are unable or unwilling to prepare nourishing food for their children.

Michal had never been away from home. And now, she was going so far away, for so long – an entire year!

Though if you do have a schach mat, you’ll realize that it cannot actually support the weight of the water.

Social disabilities occur at many levels, but experts identify three different areas of learning and behavior that are most common for children who struggle to create lasting social connections.

Sukkot is an eternal time of joy, and if we are worthy, of plenty.

Two of our brothers, Jonathan Pollard and Alan Gross, sit in the pit of captivity. We have a mandate to see that they are freed.

Chabad of South Broward has 15 Chabad Houses in ten cities.

Victor Center works in partnership with healthcare professionals, clergy, and the community to sponsor education programs and college campus out reach.

So just in case you’re stuck in the house this Chol HaMoed – because there’s a new baby or because someone has a cold – not because of anything worse, here are six ideas for family fun at home.

We are told that someone who says that God’s mercy extends to a bird’s nest should be silenced.

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: