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  • Writer's pictureDr. V.S. Gayathri

Importance of Understanding About Self-Worth For Your Child!

“Sometimes the hardest part of the journey is believing you're worth the trip.” 


We are all aware of how important it is to believe in oneself to achieve something, to reach our goals, and be successful. Self-acceptance and a positive self-image are very important for our physical and mental well-being. It helps to boost our self-confidence and self-esteem. 


The self-worth theory posits that an individual’s main priority in life is to find self-acceptance and that self-acceptance is often found through achievement (Covington & Beery, 1976). In turn, achievement is often found through competition with others.


What is Self-Worth?


Self-worth has been defined as an internal sense of being good enough and worthy of love and belonging from others. 


According to the self-worth theory, self-worth is determined mostly by our self-evaluated abilities and our performance in one or more activities that we deem valuable.


How would you understand Self-Worth?


Ask yourself or your child to answer these questions. The answers will help you understand your perception of yourself or your child.

· What words would you use to describe yourself?

· What value did you place on yourself or aspects of yourself?

· Were your descriptions generally positive, balanced, or negative?

· Where did your messages around your worth come from?


The theory states that the four main elements of the self-worth model include:

· Ability

· Effort

· Performance

· Self-worth


Two examples to help you understand:


Example 1: Bill is not a great student. He gets mostly Bs and Cs, even though he studies a lot. He is an average reader and a struggling writer.

Even though Bill wishes he had better grades, he still feels pretty good about himself. He knows that grades aren’t everything and that he’s just as valuable as his friends who score high marks. Bill has a high sense of self-worth and a realistic view of himself and his abilities.


Example 2: Amy has a wide variety of interests, including marathons, attending book club, playing weekly trivia with her friends, and meeting new people.

Amy’s not particularly good at running and has never placed in a marathon. She’s a slow reader and mostly not as outstanding as many of her friends. Finally, she loves to talk to new people but sometimes she gets blown off and ignored. Despite all of this, she still believes that she is worthy and valuable. She knows that her worth is not dependent on her ability to run, read, play trivia, or make new friends. She believed that she is worthy of happiness, fulfillment, and love.


According to Dr. Sabrina Romanoff, PsyD, a clinical psychologist and professor at Yeshiva University, these are some of the factors that may influence self-worth:

·       Core beliefs and values

·       Thoughts and feelings

·       Emotions and mental well-being

·       Experiences and interactions with others

·       Past and present relationships

·       Health and physical fitness 

·       Career and profession 

·       Activities and hobbies

·       Community and social status 

·       Financial position

·       Physical appearance

·       Childhood experiences


Self-acceptance is an important component of self-worth which can be defined as: the awareness of one's strengths and weaknesses, appreciating one's talents, capabilities, and general worth, and, feelings of satisfaction with one's self despite deficiencies regardless of personal choices.


Why Self-Worth is important?


Research has shown that around 50% of our personality and our self-worth feelings are inherited; the rest is environmental. However, it can be nurtured and nurtured over time. 


People with high self-worth show more confidence and can manage in different situations. While they are aware of areas in which they can improve, they don’t let their shortcomings define their personality. They are not afraid to pursue opportunities and have reasonable faith in their ability to deliver.


Self-worth also plays an important role in relationship dynamics. Having positive self-worth can help people set boundaries around how they are treated by others. It also keeps them happy and mentally strong.


According to a 2017 study, positive self-worth is associated with a greater sense of well-being and life satisfaction.

Low self-worth leads to a negative view of oneself and a lack of trust in one’s abilities. As a result, there is a perpetual fear of failure, difficulty accepting positive comments, and a disproportionate focus on weaknesses. This also leads to troubled and stressful relationships.


Study says that low self-worth is highly correlated with depression and anxiety. As a result, people may experience symptoms like low mood, irritability, anxiety, fatigue, changes in weight, sleep difficulties, and inability to concentrate.


Keep watching this space for some helpful tips for boosting your child’s self-worth in the next article.

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