A Child's Self Esteem
Many factors contribute to the mental state that forms as a child grows to become a young adult. His/her self-esteem, or lack of, is a key factor. Unfortunately, low self-esteem is more common than high self-esteem. Most cases of low self-esteem begin during the pre-teen and teenage years of a child’s life. These are the years containing the overwhelming pressures of high school. Teenagers are forced to cope with unmotivated teachers, ignorant peers, doubting parents, and possibly not knowing, or not being able to afford, the trends of the time. Such burdens are unmistakably the main causes of low self-esteem.
Too often, teachers of all subjects lose their patience and desire to teach. When this situation occurs, a student who already doesn’t have a fair amount of confidence in him/her self is unable to achieve the necessary praise and cooperation. Teachers fail to realize that they are, for the most part, well respected authority figures who their students try to impress and make proud on a daily basis. However, when nothing the student says or does is impressive, then he/she begins the downward spiral of doubting him/herself. Before the student knows what has happened, he/she is receiving poor grades, which does nothing to help the situation, and in fact, only makes it worse, for it is much harder for him/her to recover after he/she has already fallen. After this point, the student tends to begin believing that he/she isn’t capable of doing better than previously deemed by the teacher; he/she just stops trying. Teachers aren’t the only influential aspects in school that can cause a teenager to feel that he/she is less of a person; there are also peers who are too ignorant to know that their hateful words hurt everyone who hears them.
Peer pressure is a common term used to describe the unique forceful bond that all people of the same age or group level hold over one another. The most dangerous and influential type of peer pressure is found in high school among teenagers. That is the age when groups are distinctly labeled as the “jock group,” the “geek group,” the “popular group,” the “skater group,” or the “I-don’t-really-belong-to-a-group group.” These labels are unfortunate because they subtly, or sometimes directly, eliminate the individuality that teenagers are just discovering. Such labels also give certain groups superiority over others, in turn causing the others to feel inferior. More often than not, members of the “inferior” group are the ones to lose their self-esteem first. The “popular” students are surprisingly ignorant when it comes to the terms in which they discriminate against their “inferior” peers. “Name calling” begins as the incredibly smart kids are made fun of by being called “nerds” or “geeks,” the skaters are spoken of as “losers” or “weirdos,” and the jocks are deemed “stupid airheads.” All the while, every negative remark is directed toward a teenager who was...