Self-esteem expert Jack Canfield, of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame, notes that says 80 percent of children entering the first grade scored high on the self-esteem inventory. By the fifth grade only 20 percent of the children were scoring high. And by the time they graduated from high school that number was down to just 5 percent.
Who is responsible for the development of self-esteem? Canfield says that in a survey of 1,000 parents and 1,000 teachers, 72 percent of the parents said teachers were responsible, while 78 percent of the teachers said the parents were.
Children with unhealthy self esteem feel that the important adults and peers in their lives do not accept them, do not care about them very much, and would not go out of their way to ensure the child’s safety and well-being, according to Prof. Saavedra’s article in Psychology of Infancy & Childhood.