This material is from the teaching guide
for the video Self-Esteem
in the 12-part DVD series THE POWER OF CHOICE

The way we feel about ourselves affects every aspect of our private and social lives, and has tremendous influence on the kinds of choices we make. This issue has taken on such importance that government task forces and university researchers have been commissioned to study the impact of self-esteem on personal and social responsibility.

In this program, host Michael Pritchard and high school students from Albuquerque, Detroit, Dallas, Wichita, and Columbia, S.C., consider what self-esteem is, what it does for us, and how we can tap into it. The underlying message of this show is that good self-esteem leads to good choices, and good choices lead to greater self-esteem. As one boy in Detroit said, “Really, the only thing that you can really count on in your life is that you know yourself. I have my self-esteem. I know what I can do. You have to take it from there.”


  1. To stimulate young people to think about their level of self-esteem.
  2. To make them aware of the relationship between their self-esteem and the quality of the choices they make.
  3. To uncover some of the factors that can enhance or undermine their self-esteem.
  4. To sensitize them to the affect their own actions have on the self-esteem of others.

This material is from the teaching guide
for the video Self-Esteem
in the 12-part DVD series THE POWER OF CHOICE



1. Think of someone you know who has high self-esteem. How can you tell that person has high self-esteem, what are the signs? What are the signs of low self-esteem?

2. What does self-esteem do for a person?

3. Where does self-esteem come from?

4. Pritchard says that self-esteem, or lack of it, has a big influence on the choices people make. Is that true, and if so, why?

5. Can you think of a time when making a very good choice made you feel very good about yourself? Can you think of a time when making a very bad choice made you feel very bad about yourself? Can making good choices help you raise your self-esteem?

6. Is “self-esteem” simply a popular catchphrase or is it really important? If it is important, why is it, as one girl says in the program, often overlooked?

7. Pritchard remarks that many of the kids he worked with in juvenile hall suffered from low self-esteem. What is the connection between low self-esteem and the trouble these young people had gotten themselves into?

8. What can happen when a person’s self-worth is based upon something that will not last, like fame as an athlete?

9. The boy whose girlfriend left him for an older guy says that after losing her, he was not there for himself and that even now, pieces of himself are missing. What is he missing, and what would you counsel him to do to get it?

10. Has any event in your life had a significant effect, positively or negatively, on your self-esteem?

11. If you are your own worst critic, does that mean that you have low self-esteem?

12. In what ways can criticism help your self-esteem; in what ways can it hurt?

13. How can you give someone criticism without lowering his or her self-esteem?

14. How much power do you have to affect the ways that others feel about themselves? Give an example.

15. Pritchard says that self-esteem has its roots inside us. If this is true, and if Gina-Gina-Round-and-Fat could have high self-esteem despite the taunting of her classmates, what difference does it make whether we tear each other down or build each other up?


1. List the skills you are best at. Then list the skills you want to develop. Then set a realistic plan to acquire one particular skill. Promise yourself you will carry out this plan.

2. Wr i t e a page about your s e l f – your ski l l s , accomplishments, goals – that you might use in searching for your ideal job. Then write a page about your personality, your likes and dislikes, that would describe your to your best friend.

3. Write a description of the time you felt best in your life and explain how that feeling allowed you to grow as a person and contributed to your sense of who you are.

4. Imagine yourself twenty years in the future. Then write about what your life is like, what you have achieved, how you made it happen, what major problems you faced, how you dealt with them, and who has been the most influential person in your life.

5. Write an essay in which you describe how your home life contributes to your good or bad self-esteem.

6. What is the thing you like most about yourself? Why? Keep a daily journal in which you make at least one entry a day describing your good qualities and your accomplishments.

7. What would you like most to change about yourself? What is stopping you?

This material is from the teaching guide
for the video “Self-Esteem
in the 12-part DVD series THE POWER OF CHOICE



1. Make a list of words and phrases that are put-downs of other people or of yourselves. Phrases like “I’m a loser” or “you can’t do anything right” undermine self-esteem. After
discussing the impact of negative language, decide as a group that you will not use these words. In fact, you might consider making you and your friends put a nickel in a kitty every time they use one of these negative words or phrases. Donate the funds to a charity or project that makes you feel good as a group.

2. From magazines you have around the house, cut out advertisements that produce negative images of teenagers. Put these ads up on a bulletin board. Discuss how you would like to see teenagers portrayed in ads in ways that would increase their self-esteem.

3. Break into two teams and research and debate the following proposition “Poor self-esteem causes negative social behavior.”

4. Media project. Record television programs off the air, and then choose scenes that either make teens feel good about themselves or bad about themselves. Show these scenes in class and discuss their positive or negative impact.

“SELF-ESTEEM” – The Video

In this program, comedian/youth counselor Michael Pritchard, talks with students in Philadelphia, Atlanta, Cleveland, and Minneapolis, to discover how our values can guide us in making choices that are right for us. Learn more . . .

Buy This Video
The Series

The Power of Choice with Michael Pritchard is a 12-volume youth guidance video series aimed at empowering teenagers to make good choices in their lives. It teaches young people that they have the power of choice, that they are responsible for the choices they make, and that they owe it to themselves to choose the best.
Learn more . . .


Buy This Series

For more information about individual videos in this series, click on the title below.

If your school or organization does not have these videos, you can purchase them from Live Wire Media, or request them from your local library.


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