Preteen Journaling: Understanding How Self-Concept Relates to Self Esteem—
Our self-concept is how we see and believe in ourselves. It is the perception we have of ourselves.
Our self-concept and self-esteem are intimately related. How we see ourselves directly determines how we feel about ourselves. Our self-concept has more strength in bolstering our self esteem and protecting it than do the perceptions of those around us. This, at least, should be the way it is.
Journaling can help a young person define their self-concept which will have a positive effect on their self-esteem and self-confidence. Our self concept is rooted in the belief we have of ourselves. Here’s the bottom line:
The more solid and grounded a person’s self-concept is
the stronger that person’s self-esteem will be.
If we have a poor belief in who and what we are, we will undoubtedly have a poor or negative self-concept. This will translate into us not feeling good about ourselves and being insecure about who we are and how we relate to the world. The reverse of a poor self-concept is true also. If we have a strong belief in ourselves we will have a good self- concept. How we see ourselves makes all the difference regarding our overall mental health.
Journaling can help the pre-teen develop a healthy self-concept and belief system. The journaling tween should identify and write about all the qualities, talents and traits they know they have. They should also write about what they believe and don’t believe in. This activity will help them to create an internal belief system and develop a fairly accurate self-concept. High self-esteem and confidence is the result of a good self-concept and a sound belief system.
Pre-Teen Journaling | Digging Deeper
When writing in a journal about successes, along with the thoughts and feelings related to those experiences, the pre-teen can build more confidence in themselves. There is a tremendous and revolutionary thing that happens to us when we see, in word form, how we have successfully progressed from one event to another no matter what difficulty was involved. We begin to see where we made good decisions and our actions that led to those successes. When we make one decision that leads to success, we will make another. This is the soil from which self-esteem and confidence can grow.
In acquiring an understanding of ourselves and our place in the world a young person’s self-concept is constantly challenged as its stability develops. If a pre-teen has a poor self-concept then they will be more prone to be influenced by the perceptions of those around them, especially by their peers.
The bottom line here is that the perceptions of others do mean something, but they are not what define us. We do that. We define ourselves.
Key Journaling Benefit for Tweens:
When a pre-teen uses a journal to define themselves
their self-esteem and confidence will increase, and
they will be less susceptible to peer perceptions and pressure.
Journaling helps us develop our self-concept because we are providing ourselves with the privilege of getting to know ourselves. We have all entered into friendships and relationships with other people. At first, we go through an introductory period. Then over time we develop a closer bond in some form or other.
This same principle applies to us as we write in our journal. At first, we go through an introductory phase with ourselves, writing maybe more about others than ourselves. But over time and through daily writing, we begin to develop a deeper understanding of ourselves. As we understand ourselves more we come to love ourselves more.
When we consistently make entries into our journal about our thoughts and feelings, just like when we are getting to know someone, we develop a deeper understanding of ourselves. And, understanding oneself contributes to a pre-teen’s self-esteem and confidence. When we have confidence, it allows us to try out new things and develop new talents.