What is the greatest challenge facing 8th graders today?

I believe that the greatest challenge facing 8th graders today is low self-esteem.

Self-esteem (also called self-worth, self-confidence, and self-respect) reflects a person’s overall self-appraisal of their worth. When women and girls feel bad about their bodies, they often feel bad about themselves. This outcome is what the field of eating-disorders treatment is trying to capture when pointing out the seriousness of poor body image. Yet weight-loss products focus on instilling feelings of body hatred in consumers.

Many people look in the mirror and see someone they don’t like very much. They see faults, flaws and failures. They feel shame, embarrassment and maybe even anger toward themselves. Part of the reason some people have poor self-esteem is a discrepancy between expectations and reality (though this reality is usually distorted). According to Ryan Howes, Ph.D, psychologist, writer and professor in Pasadena, California, “Deep down we’ve all constructed an idea of who we ‘should’ be: how we should look, act, think, feel and be regarded by others.” Not meeting these “shoulds” can have a negative impact on self-esteem. “When we fail to match those standards, one response may be frustration, anger or even hatred for the parts of ourselves that don’t measure up,” he says.

Here is a video of a woman talking about her expirences with low self esteem and how it has effected

Possessing little self-regard can lead people to become depressed, to fall short of their potential, or to tolerate abusive situations and relationships. Too much self-love, on the other hand, results in an off-putting sense of entitlement and an inability to learn from failures . (It can also be a sign of clinical narcissism.) Another obstacle is to find the right balance of self-esteem.

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