Many youngsters, like Jessica, seem to exude positive feelings about their abilities – they happily report that they are good at running, jumping, drawing, math or music.
However, the belief in being good at certain concrete skills could be different from a more general sense of self-worth or what scientists call “positive self-esteem.” For example, at early ages, children can report “I’m good at running” or “I’m good with letters.” But preschoolers might not be able to answer questions about their overall sense of self-worth.
So, when do kids develop a sense of self-esteem and how can we measure it?
Our research has developed new ways to study what kids think about themselves. Parents, make a note: our results show that most kids develop a sense of self-esteem – feeling good or bad about oneself – as early as age five, before they even enter kindergarten.
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