Self-esteem is a process that begins in infancy and continues throughout a person's life. When children have low self-esteem, they feel bad about themselves, they fail to live up to their potential in school and at home, and they're more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors like sex, drugs and alcohol when they reach adolescence. On the other hand, when children have high self-esteem, they're more likely to be cooperative, respectful and responsible, to avoid high-risk situations, to be self-reliant and to resist negative peer pressure. Learn what the building blocks of self-esteem are, and how parents can use the powerful and practical skills of encouragement to build responsibility and cooperation in their children. Discover the four ways in which parents most often discourage their children and how to turn these around to affect a child's self-esteem in positive ways.