An individual can contribute to an organization and/or community to add value. Regardless of whether it is at work or at home. It is in us that we want to contribute, be useful, and know that we are of value to the people we care about. We can affirm the value externally (by other people). Internally, we may value ourselves differently. Sometimes, no matter how the people closest to us tell us how good we are or how generous we are, we tend to feel not so. Maslow’s Esteem Needs classify the needs to esteem for oneself and desire for reputation or respect from others.
We gain recognition via our academic, professional, athletic, or hobbies achievements. Rewards that we won through competitions or awards elevate our value and recognition from the community and society. These add on to our self-confidence and drive us to gain recognition for our skill or ability.
Every individual is a unique being in this world and each of us has our own rights (human rights, education rights, etc). With each right, it anchors on how much we can exercise the rights. Are we able to express freely our thoughts and opinions? Do we have the ability to make our own choice AND still be respected for making the choice? Or will us be discriminated against the moment we do not go with the norm? Or being ridiculed when our behavior is exaggerated?
When we have value, we gained a reputation. The more recognition we receive externally builds up the points in our reputation ranking. With reputation, people trust us more. Believe in us. Reputation also builds upon how much we say we can deliver and how much do we actually deliver. For our children with special needs, often parents “rob” the opportunity for their child to build their skill and ability, thus taking away the chance the child can shine. Making decisions or choices on behalf of or not being patient when your child is trying to learn new skills. These are some of the examples of when we rob our children.
We have the right to live the life we choose to live. Be it working as an employee in a grocery store or running your own business. As long as it is a decent way of living our life, we have dignity. Not everyone can be a doctor, engineer, or live an idle life. That is a choice that we should have, especially when we grow up to be young adults. Everyone wants to be the best version of themselves and each one of us has our own versions. As long as we are living our life 100%, each of us and our children has dignity.
Fulfilling Your Child’s Esteem Needs
To fulfill our children’s esteem needs, firstly, we have to respect their choices. Respecting their choices does not mean you agree with their choice. However, as parents, it is critical that we support our children when they make their choices. By supporting them from young to understand the consequences of each decision that they make and allowing them to make mistakes and learn from it provides a greater learning opportunity for your child. As parents, we need to learn how to pick our fight with our children. It is all right if your child decides to pair up a neon pink and green shirt. However, it is not all right if their action harms themselves or others.
Secondly, support your child to build their skills and ability. Celebrate their achievements, big and small. Get to know their interests and strengths while supporting them in areas that affect their daily life. Sharing your own challenges and struggle may inspire your child to work on their own difficulties. Preparing your child for their future starts with them having confidence in themselves that they are able to face their own future.