Broadly speaking, children tend to build their identity on three basic elements of their external environment:
- what I look like
- what I own
- what I achieve.
These external aspects of life are transient and create a very vulnerable platform for identity and self-esteem development. When there is external proof that they look good, own what other people own (or more) and achieve to the expected standard, they feel good about themselves; but when they feel that these elements are missing, they fall into a personal decline, creating a kind of emotional see-saw or roller-coaster. It is this lack of healthy identity and resilient self-esteem that creates the opportunity for the behaviours and choices of our youth which are so detrimental to their well-being: bullying, depression and anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse.
In contrast to these external influences, COOL TO BE ME encourages the learners to build their identity on an internal foundation.
- Who am I?
- Why am I important?
- Why is everyone else important?
- How do I create my life?
- What are my choices in my generation?
Read the full article on the Independent Schools Association of South Africa website.