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Shaping Self-Concept

Shaping Self-Concept

Our audio, Shaping Self-Concept, has been an important resource to many over the years. Although it has been unavailable recently, we are excited to announce its return—it is now available again on our website.

Many issues around social media have been discussed recently, especially with concern about the effect on our kids. Because social media can have a significantly negative effect on self-concept, it is very important to focus not only setting limits around technology and social media use, but also on helping our kids develop a healthy, positive self-concept.

Psychologists place a huge emphasis on the importance of having a positive self-concept and rightly so! How we feel about ourselves may be the single most important factor affecting how motivated we are to succeed in school, the types of friends we select, the person we marry, and our general well-being throughout our lives.

Due to its undisputed importance, people have spent tremendous energy trying different approaches to give kids good self-concept. Listed below are just a few of the many practices that have created kids who have a rather poor sense of self:

  • Constant praise
  • Ensuring that they are always the center of attention
  • Making sure that they never encounter any hardships
  • Buying them everything they want
  • Rescuing them from the consequences of their misbehavior
  • Setting no limits so that they can “express their creativity”
  • Allowing unrestricted access and use of social media

There’s only one approach that really works, and it’s based on the following age-old truism:

The best way to feel good is to do something good.

When parents place a high emphasis on good and respectful behavior, children look at themselves and think, “I act pretty darn good and responsible. I must be pretty darn good and responsible.”

True self-concept is developed when children encounter struggles in the real world (not the digital world), learn how to overcome these struggles, and then see themselves acting in respectful and responsible ways. Stated quite simply, self-concept is an inside job. The best antidote to the negative effects of social media is helping our kids develop a healthy self-concept.

 

Thanks for reading!

Dr. Charles Fay