What on earth is self-esteem?


We hear a lot about the importance of self-esteem these days – especially for children. The lack of it can lead to all sorts of problems – depression, feelings of worthlessness that lead to being bullied, an inability to cope with the pressures of life.

We know what happens when self-esteem is absent – but what exactly is it? How do you recognise it when it’s staring you in the face?

Self-esteem is concerned with how we value ourselves. As we grow, it affects nearly every part of our lives: our ability to put trust in others, relationships, work, our ability to be happy.

Building self-esteem in children is not about telling them that everything they do is wonderful, or even that they are always wonderful. A child fuelled by the belief that they are a little star, is a child that’s unlikely to cope well when reality comes knocking and they make mistakes.

The freedom to fail and get over it is vital for the development of children. Self-esteem is what helps you pick yourself up and try again. Self-esteem allows you to make mistakes and learn from them without crumpling into a ball of self-loathing. Self-esteem allows you to be at ease with who you are. It allows you to be comfortable with a range of emotions – even ones that feel uncomfortable. Self-esteem is what let’s you understand that it’s good to be you, rather than someone else.

Self-esteem is central to all the books in the Squarehead series.   Our characters are not perfect – far from it. They are learning, as children have to, how to cope in the world.

With the help of some clever and experienced teachers, we’ve now turned our books into a series of Lessons For Life. We aim to make them available to schools (and parents) this autumn. It’s left us feeling good about ourselves and proud of what we’ve achieved. Hang on a minute – that’s self-esteem!