By Elhoussain Naaim
By Elhoussain Naaim
RABAT – Education is a process that takes place according to the environment one belongs to. Particularly, it takes place at homes, schools and in the streets. What are the roles of these institutions in building the confidence of Moroccan children? Do they affect the children’s personalities positively or negatively?
To start, the home is the first source that begins to develop a child’s character. A child should be exposed to a lot of beneficial and educational principles so that he can use them as he grows up. Therefore, a family should do everything to give knowledge and morals to their children from an early age. This should be the norm, but unfortunately, most Moroccan families often mistreat their kids by educating them in negative ways that can affect their self-esteem. When a child is home, he tries to form an idea about his self-concept. For instance, if his parents called him a donkey from time to time, he will bear in mind that he is stupid because he looks at himself in the way his family does. The self-esteem of this child will be low and weak, and will affect his behaviors inside and outside home.
On the other hand, a family that keeps giving positive feedback to the children will make them more self-confident and more successful in their lives. Also, the children will begin to look at life more positively . As an example, a young child has written on the wall of his bedroom that “I’m good because God created me and God does not create junk”( from Building Biblical Self-Esteemby. Bruce Narramore,Ph.D.and Elizabeth Skoglund, M.A.). Here, even if it sounds funny, the kid shows that he is to some extent very self- confident, and that he looks at life optimistically.
It is always important to make our kids optimistic and encourage them to love themselves whoever they are. Moroccan families should not use a lot of nicknames to address their children, such as Aghyul, Bu ighf,ras’ttarru, ras’stl (cultural negative nicknames that refer to stupidity), because that can affect their self-confidence and will create psychological problems for them when they are in other different contexts. Unfortunately today, the way people look determines their high or low self-esteem, and so families should teach their kids to look at mirrors with high confidence in themselves.
Here the psychologist Carl Roger underlines two very important principles that can help a child grow, the conditioned and unconditioned positive regard. According to him, we always should give unconditioned positive regard to our children, so that they can live up to their high potential, and seek their ideal-self. Therefore, if a child is brought up in an environment that’s rich of positive regards, he or she would tend to realize his or her self actualization.
On the other hand, Abraham Maslow, put love and respect in his hierarchy diagram in the third and forth layer after physiological and safety needs. Abraham Maslow emphasized that a child will realize his or herself-actualization by satisfying his or her needs in a sequenced and successive way. A child who does not satisfy his physiological needs will not be able to satisfy the higher needs. In order to have a creative child who is self-actualized, we should offer him or her needs of the physiological and psychological side. For the psychological side, it can be satisfied by respect, love of others and their good attitudes towards the personality of a child. Therefore, to respect our children and treat them in a way that will not harm their self-esteem will let them live up to their self-actualization, and to be self-confident.
In schools, it is more complicated. Majority of teachers do not care at all about the psychological side of students. Teachers often think they are only there to transmit information to the students.
The paradox that is imposed at this point is the fact that when a kid grows up and becomes ready to take professional entrance exams, the first thing he is criticized for and asked about is his self-confidence. Educators, who give tests, try always to test candidates’ self-confidence and reflection. But, one thing that they neglect is the fact that the candidate is just a product of such teachers’ behaviors in our Moroccan education system. Therefore, to test someone about something you did not educate him or her on is not valid at all. Teachers do not give much magnitude to build students personalities so that we can have strong young citizens, instead of many educated people who cannot even speak in front of a group of people.
Besides the responsibility of families and teachers, there is also responsibility of government, mainly the Minister of education and mass media. With respect to the minister of education, the efforts taken are valuable and tangible. But, schooling is not only providing buildings, equipment and large curricula. I do not think psychology is taken into account in our schools. Students, mainly teenagers suffer from a lot of psychological problems. Many students break down easily after a failure in their study, and we recently heard that some students committed suicide because they failed in their classes.
Teachers are forced always to be knowledge providers, but also psychiatrists, psychoanalysts and psychologists as well. But, a school without a specialist who can guide students psychologically is not a school. The knowledge and values one can take from school is always determined by the mental status of the students. School should be a place of knowledge, and a place in which students will learn how to face their own personal problems in the real life situations, and always keep self-confidence regardless of failures or any psychological problems.
On the other hand, mass media has a great deal of impact on children’s perceptions as well. One may feel astonished when watching many Moroccan channels, and none of them contains a program that shows parents how to help their children enhance their self-confidence. Parents in our society, make some mistakes when bringing up their children, so instead of devoting all the time for useless trivial dramatic movies, and news, Moroccans need to learn from their channels. TV channels are not merely for news or leisure time programs as they are traditionally known, but they are such great classes if they were used appropriately.
To sum up, all the previous institutions that I mentioned need to make more of an effort to help our children develop and enhance their self-confidence. The latter is not less crucial than knowledge and morals we try to teach our children; therefore, we should also help our children trust their abilities and believe in the fact that they are important individuals in our community.
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