Self-Esteem in Children

In the U.S., a common worry of parents is whether their children have a high self-esteem. In the age of increased awareness of the ramifications of bullying behavior (physical, verbal, and relational-aggression), as well as increased competition it is no wonder parents are concerned. Aleksandar is a coordinator of athletic programs for Centervale. In the past, parents have insisted on participation trophies for all kids playing sports between the ages of 5 and 11. There is currently a debate in Centervale regarding whether participation trophies for everyone should continue through middle school as well. Some parents think it will help with self-esteem, while other parents recall never getting participation trophies when they were growing up and think losing can be a good lesson.


Think about what you have learned in this module about physical, cognitive, and socioemotional development in middle childhood. In the Discussion Area, respond to the following:

  • Explain the type of parenting style that would lend itself well to creating a healthy self-esteem and why.
  • Describe a recommendation for the sports organizer, who wonders if everyone should receive a trophy just for participating.
  • What arguments can be made on both sides of the debate? Be sure that you discuss development and how social, cognitive, and physical development during middle childhood should factor into the decision.
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