How Self-Esteem Affects Well Being
by Rachel Chernaskey
Not only does a coat keep a child warm, but it also boosts his or her levels of self-esteem.
Operation Warm’s main mission is to provide children in need with coats to help them stay warm in harsh, cold weather conditions. But giving kids in poverty coats to wear reaps benefits that reach well beyond the fabric. Not only does a coat keep a child warm, but it also boosts his or her levels of self-esteem. A healthy self-esteem is crucial—not just to a child’s success in school or on the playground, but also to his or her wellbeing and health. Without healthy levels of confidence, children may be susceptible to various other health problems or unhealthy habits. And since self-esteem tends to form in childhood and continue through adulthood, it’s even more important to help kids feel good about themselves.
Without Confidence, Health Problems Arise
When a child doesn’t feel confident in his ability, other mental health issues may start to come into play: Anxiety and depression are found to be more likely among those with low self-esteem. Children may feel more anger or other negative emotions. Other unhealthy habits may tend to crop up, too. Children who suffer from low self-esteem are also more likely to abuse alcohol or drugs later down the road.
Confidence Helps Boost Performance
An article published by the Guardian explained that children in poverty often underestimate their own abilities and subsequently suffer from lowered low self-esteem. Conversely, confidence in oneself has been shown to boost performance—a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. It’s the old “I think I can” mentality that does the trick. If a child believes he can do well, he’s more likely to do just that. Higher self-esteem helps children perform better in all aspects of a child’s life: school, sports and socialization. If a child has a low self-esteem, she may turn to other unhealthy social behaviors to help cope. This, too, creates a cycle in which a her self-esteem continues to suffer.
Confident Kids are Happier Kids
According to a study by the University of Michigan, the best predictor of life satisfaction is not family life, friendships, or income, but self-confidence. People who are self-confident tend to be more optimistic and hopeful about their futures. It is important for kids to feel happy and hopeful. Small, simple changes in lifestyle can go a long way.
A Coat Helps Boost Confidence
Giving a child a coat keeps them warm, but it also helps them feel included. Without basic necessities, like warm layers or a jacket during wintertime, children can feel left out. A coat in a color that they like and a style that is fun and up-to-date is a great way to give a child in poverty a little more self-confidence. When we look good, we feel good. An Operation Warm coat is a great boost in self-esteem for a child in need.