Stranger

Positive self-image, your greatest gift to a child


Thumb aaaa

About Philosophically

I think, therefore I am.


Socialisation impacts on our self-image - and our self-image impacts on our capacity to contribute to our community.

CONVERSATION WITH GOD - 7

Tell your child they are beautiful, unique and capable of anything.

Tell your child they are beautiful, unique and capable of anything. Picture: iStock

I am a product of my environment. In fact, we are all an outcome of a socialisation process, but does that matter?

I think it does. I'm sure of it.

It matters for two important reasons. Firstly, the socialisation process impacts directly on an individual’s self-image and secondly, that image impacts directly on their capacity to contribute to their community.

A lecture I listened to earlier in the week directly addressed the issue of self-image, noting that: " ...we  (human beings) always behave in a manner consistent with who we believe we are (or can be)". It was postulated that it is almost impossible for anyone to behave in a manner inconsistent with their self-image.

Those who grow up being told that they will never amount to anything are likely to believe just that and, as a result, never amount to anything. A child who is told that they can be anything they want is almost certainly going to achieve more in their life than the one told they will never amount to anything.

If you are socialised to believe you can climb a mountain, there remains the possibility that you can. But you will not and cannot achieve more than your self-image provides for. Human beings do not always achieve the heights set by their self-image, but they will never achieve more.

As such, the more positive each individual’s self-image, the more they can achieve for themselves and the community.

To move forward, communities need people who can dream big and achieve big. This requires people with a self-image that facilitates this. What is more, the greater the proportion of people with such self-belief, the greater the potential for the community to move forward.

Equally, the more people who have a self-image inconsistent with achieving the big things that move the community forward, the slower society will move forward. Socialisation that damages or limits the self-image of an individual limits the development of our community and society in general.

This is the impact of telling children that they need to see the world in a particular way, helping them to think that their options are unnecessarily limited. It is suggesting to them what is and isn't real, influencing their views on what is innovative, acceptable, normal, abnormal, appropriate, the best way, the worst way, within or above their station.

We are all the product of a sophisticated socialisation process that impacts on our self-image. Due to a mix of genetic and environmental factors, each person responds differently to that socialisation process. How each individual responds to that socialisation process impacts on their self-image and the contribution they make to the world they live in.

The really dangerous thing is that we are not generally aware that this socialisation process is going on - and too few of us are aware of how we help to socialise those around us.

I look back on the socialisation process that impacted on me with resentment and anger. Throughout my school years, this process in particular tried to shape me in a way I did not want to be shaped. It tried to make me ‘normal’.

Worse still, I was constantly told that I could do anything, given ‘xyz’; any behaviour acceptable so long as it was not ‘abc’; I could study anything, but ‘def’ would be a waste of time; I should form my own values, so long as they were consistent with the Bible and society's expectations.

That said, deep down, I know that these socialisation processes and influences have limited my self-image - and the contribution I have been able to make to my community and society in general.

Fortunately, some part of me, partially genetic and partially learned from my father said f*** you, I will do and be what I want.

Today, aged 60, I continue to say this. I think what I want, say what I want and do what I want – and I don’t need anybody's acceptance or approval. I don’t care if you like me or not. 

To most of my teachers and the conservative, narrow-minded thinkers I grew up around, I say f*** you!

I am becoming increasingly free of them all - free enough to allow my self-image to fly and my achievements to follow them.

  • Read Conversations with God No 6: I did not choose my beliefs
  • Blogger campaign
    | Your rating
    No ratings yet


    Related Stories

    The women in my family were strong and stoic.

    How I met my mother: Part 1

    Comment icon 16

    This is not about the Oedipus complex. It's about love and how it can shape who you are.

    Social Issues Kindness Relationships
    Tiny aaaa By Philosophically Yours
    Expand
    2 days ago
    (Love & Relationships)
    Finding a life partner in middle age and older can be intimidating.

    Looking for cupid in midlife and beyond

    Comment icon 16

    When the idea of finding love online doesn't appeal, and pubs and clubs aren't an option, where do you look for a life partner?

    Ageing Technology Relationships
    Tiny 160825 53 By Allen Newton
    Expand
    3 days ago
    (Love & Relationships)

    Funny white lies that parents tell their kids

    Comment icon 16

    Check out some of the funniest and most clever lies people have told their kids.

    Relationships Humour
    Originally from boredpanda.com
    Expand
    4 days ago
    (Love & Relationships)

    Struggling relationship?

    Comment icon 16

    Science says puppies may help.

    Dogs Pets Relationships
    Originally from nationalgeographic.com
    Expand
    4 days ago
    (Love & Relationships)
    How you live is your business, not the church's - and certainly not Margaret Court's.

    How you live is your business

    Comment icon 16

    As ignorant as the words of Margaret Court are, I will defend her right to voice them and in doing so, give voice to her deep...

    Marriage Equality Relationships LGBTI
    Tiny angry biker showing middle finger with both hands 000078716059 small By Subversive Sam
    Expand
    6 days ago
    (Love & Relationships)

    How to love someone with high-functioning anxiety

    Comment icon 16

    The condition is not always visible.

    Relationships Mental Health Health
    Originally from huffingtonpost.com.au
    Expand
    6 days ago
    (Love & Relationships)

    Funny examples of why being married is great

    Comment icon 16

    If humour is the key to long-lasting love, these couples are slaying it.

    Humour
    Originally from boredpanda.com
    Expand
    9 days ago
    (Love & Relationships)

    Free ride service to reunite pets with dying owners

    Comment icon 16

    Transitioning into palliative care can be a stressful time, especially when it means moving far from home and loved ones.

    Health Transport Pets
    Originally from abc.net.au
    Expand
    11 days ago
    (Love & Relationships)

    Coming out as gay ... to the wife and kids

    Comment icon 16

    Michael O'Hanlon says he "fell out of the closet" when his wife discovered he was gay, and he now hopes others in the same...

    Tedchnology Relationships LGBTI
    Originally from abc.net.au
    Expand
    12 days ago
    (Love & Relationships)

    Are Muslims speaking out about terrorism?

    Comment icon 16

    You bet they are!

    Relationships Australia
    Originally from abc.net.au
    Expand
    13 days ago
    (Love & Relationships)

    Great YsFriends offers!

    Ydaewfcfqc9o9lnkvt3s
    Manget blogger
    Have your say

    Start blogging now. You can change the world.

    Iq4qc6ugdvzh5ennexax
    Abc logo small 1
    News Fix

    24/7 ABC News Service

    Watch
    Ng23x1xbjnmxvunsxkqm
    Manget advertise
    Advertise with us

    Promote your store on Ys.

    Beat this!
    J4dwrcn7autahig9k8xb
    Foodbank logo 1
    Weekly Poll

    Stay up to date and get special offers first with our weekly YsPeople newsletter.

    Join