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The Five Building Blocks of Self-Esteem
by Michele Borba, Ed.D.

Author of Esteem Builders: A K-8 Self Esteem Curriculum for Improving Student Achievement Behavior and School Climate

The following building blocks, based on the five components found in individuals with high self-esteem, are the sequential esteem-building steps incorporated into the curriculum, Esteem Builders by Michele Borba.

A feeling of strong assuredness. Involves feeling comfortable and safe; knowing what is expected; being able to depend on individuals and situations; comprehending rules and limits.

1. Build a trusting relationship.
2. Set reasonable limits and rules that are consistently enforced.
3. Create a positive and caring environment.
A feeling of individuality. Acquiring self-knowledge, which includes an accurate and realistic self-description sources of influence on the self.

1. Reinforce more accurate self-descriptions.
2. Provides opportunities to discover major sources in terms of roles, attributes, and physical characteristics.
3 Build an awareness of unique qualities.
4. Enhance ability to identify and express emotions.

A feeling of belonging, acceptance, or relatedness, particularly in relationships that are considered important. Feeling approved of, appreciated, and respected by others.

1. Promote inclusion and acceptance within group.
2. Provide opportunities to discover interests, capabilities, and backgrounds of others.
3. Increase awareness and skills in friendship making.
4. Encourage peer approval and support.

A feeling of purpose and motivation in life. Self- empowerment through setting realistic and achievable goals and being willing to take responsibility for the consequences of one's decisions.
1. Enhance ability to make decisions, seek alternatives, and identify consequences.
2. Aid in charting present and past academic and Behavioral performances.
3. Teach the steps to successful goal-setting.

A feeling of success and accomplishment in things regarded as important or valuable. Aware of strengths and able to accept weaknesses.
1. Provide opportunities to increase awareness of individual competencies and strengths.
2. Teach how to record and evaluate progress.
3. Provide feedback on how to accept weaknesses and profit from mistakes.
4. Teach the importance of self-praise for accomplishments.

About the Author: Michele Borba, Ed.D. a former classroom teacher, is an internationally renowned consultant and educator who has presented workshops to over half a million participants. She is the recipient of the National Educator Award and the author of eighteen books including Parents Do Make A Difference (Jossey-Bass) which was named by Child Magazine as an "outstanding parenting book of the year." She is a frequent guest expert on television and National Public Ratio talk shows including The view, ABC Home Show, The Parent Table, and is quoted in numerous national publications. She lives in Palm Springs, California with her husband and three teenage sons. Information on her publications and seminars can be accessed through her Web site, www.moralintelligence.com.

© 2001 by Michele Borba. Please contact for permission to reprint.

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