If you often tend to belittle your four-year-old son or daughter’s ability to do a task, think again. According to psychologists, young children may have a sense of self-worth similar to that of older kids and adults, and may become discouraged.
According to research:
- The findings revealed that our ability to reason about our self-worth as individuals develops early in life.
- Young children can think of themselves as possessing abstract traits and abilities.
- And they can also reason about their self-worth, which has implications for self-esteem, the researchers said.
- Young children’s self-concepts are not qualitatively different from those of older children and adults.
- However, this level of maturity in reasoning about the self also means that young children can become dispirited in the face of failure.
- In addition, are not the undaunted optimists that previous theories have described.
- It has long thought that young children think of themselves in concrete.
- In addition,behavioural terms and, unlike adults or older children, are cognitively incapable of reasoning about their traits or their worth as individuals.
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- For the study the team conducted a series of studies of children ranging from four to seven years in age.
- In addition,where the children were asked to imagine they could not complete a task despite “trying really hard”.
- In some cases, they were told the task was easy and in others that it was difficult.
- The results showed that children lowered their estimation of their abilities.
- But not their global self-worth, when told they failed an easy, as opposed to hard, task.
- Conversely, they lowered their estimation of their global self-worth.
- But not their abilities, when informed they failed an adult-requested (vs. self-initiated) task.
- Importantly, adult involvement could negatively affect self-esteem, independent of the task.
“It is therefore important for both parents and educators to understand that children may become more discouraged than we previously realised and find ways to foster a productive learning environment,” Researchers noted.