Do You Have High Self-Esteem Or Low Self-Esteem?

Over the course of the last week or so I came across this list that actually describes behaviour that indicates high and low self-esteem. Take a look and see where you might fall.

People with High Self-Esteem

1. Take responsibility for their action own feelings and behaviour; avoid blaming and excuses.

2. Take compliments graciously.

3. Listen to criticisms without anger or defensiveness.

4. Give praise and compliments frequently.

5. Take good care of selves physically; avoid self destructive behaviour.

6. Accept those things that can’t be changed; age, body type, height, etc.

7. Make decisions internally from own set of values.

8. Take emotional risks; are willing to fail or look foolish.

9. Assume they are likable and pleasant to be around.

10. Have a good sense of humor; delight in irony and humor that doesn’t make fun of people or their pain.

11. Are happy about the accomplishments of others; give encouragement and confidence to others.

12. Reach out to others and make contacts.

13. Accept mistakes as part of living; try again or try something new.

14. Listen openly to the feelings, thoughts and ideas of others.

15. Accept and give sexual and sexual pleasure.

16. Are attractive to and nourished by cooperative positive people.

17. Focus on the here and now and concentrate on those things that can be controlled

People with Low Self-Esteem

1. Blame others; attribute their emotions to others.

2. Deny compliments, act suspicious of them, feel manipulated by them.

3. Criticize and pass judgment.

4. Withhold appreciation and compliments.

5. Allow self-destructive behaviour to continue.

6. Complain and apologize about things that can’t be changed.

7. Mold to external pressures; needs constant assurance.

8. Needs situations to be safe and predictable; want to always look good and be right.

9. Assume they are liked and imagine that others secretly criticize them.

10. Are amused by humor that makes others look ridiculous.

11. Look for failure in others; call attention to others failures; predict gloom.

12. Wait for others to approach; blame others for being unfriendly.

13. Expect or demand perfection in self and others.

14. Argue. Preach, nag, and criticize.

15. Without pleasure from self and others.

16. Chose toxic, hurtful relationships.

17. Are disabled by guilt, remorse regret and worry.

Book Review – Common Sense Parenting

I have been reading a book called Common Sense Parenting by Ray Burk, Ron Herron and Bridget A. Barnes.

This book was brought to my attention because it was written by authors affiliated with The Boys Town. The Boys Town is an organization dedicated to assist “at-risk” youths. They had a workshop in Trinidad and Tobago recently and even though I was not able to attend, the information was passed on by wonderful colleagues.

Common Sense Parenting is a fabulous book. It has many very important pointers for parents, especially in these times where parenting has taken on a whole different dimension. I am amazed because exactly what I suggest to parents about managing their children is exactly what is written in this book. There are step by step instructions on how to parent. I feel maybe I could have written this book!

I would like to share some pointers from the book in my blog. I am also still in the process of reading the book therefore as I read I will post pointers that I feel are important to share. Previously, I have written about the importance of parenting, understanding our young people, supporting them and so on. I am also making notes and blogs in small doses since the information is much to digest all at one time. I have been taking my time to read this book.

These first set of notes are about the appropriate teaching methods to teach children. The steps we should take to help them and teach them the valuable lessons they need to learn about themselves, expectations we have of them and generally life.

Appropriate Teaching


You let your children know exactly what they do right or wrong.


You help your children understand the relationship between what they do and what happens as a result of their actions. So there is a reaction for ever action.


You give your children clear examples of how to improve in the future. Clear examples helps them because as parents we sometimes take it for granted our children “know” what we expect of them.


You help you children learn self-discipline (to be in control of their actions and expressions of emotion). In order to do this we ourselves must be self disciplined. Children learn best by example. Therefore if you are positive and self disciplined we can teach by example.


You give your children a chance to show what they have learned. You are an active part of the learning process. You and your children work together toward a common goal.


You become the teacher, the coach. As you give information that helps your children learn to solve problems.

The next blog will focus on positive and negative consequences. Common Sense Parenting gives very specific positive and negative consequences that parents can use with their children. So I will highlight some of these consequences and give examples of some the ways positive and negative consequences can work with parenting your children.

Trauma Workshop

Over the course of the last few days I have the great pleasure of attending a Trauma workshop done by Dr. Palmer. First of all Dr. Palmer has a very impressive resume in which she has experience and research extensively in the field of psychology and trauma. She is the chair and Director of training of professional psychology and family therapy, counselling psychology programme at the department of professional psychology and family therapy at Seton Hall University.

The first day of the workshop was filled with a great deal of theory. Information was abundant and by the end of the day I felt saturated, but not in a bad way. I felt empowered and motivated like a child again, to read and explore an area that is popping up more and more in my work setting.
Children are being traumatized on a daily basis and we need to look at this more closely in order to help them. Working at a residential children’s home is a place ripe with traumatized children and equally ripe with triggers that often sets the children’s behaviour spiraling out of control. The stories children hear at school, in the media and in our lives are causing them to be traumatized more and more everyday.
Palmer’s Wisdom

One of the things that I did not realise before this workshop is that trauma can start as early as the prenatal stage. When the child is born it is very important for the child to get that care and nurturing needed. Otherwise these apparent little things have a serious effect on the child’s development and this contributes to trauma.

Other aspects that were quite informative and interesting is the play therapy techniques taught on the second day. The first exercise was to draw a picture without talking. We were put into groups and numbered off so that persons who most likely knew and were sitting next to each other were placed in a different group. Then each person in the group had to choose a color and draw a picture. No further instruction was given. It was very interesting to see how the different groups approached this exercise differently. Some groups were drawing their own pictures on different parts of the page so the picture was a bit disjointed as a whole but represented each of them. Some groups communicated through sign language and made a picture looking like if they planned it. Other groups looks at each others drawings and tried to add on. All in all it was a wonderful exercise. At the end of it we had to give the picture a title and explain what was done and what group dynamics took place during the exercise.
The second technique that we usually do not use in Trinidad is sandtray therapy. Basically you get a tray and fill it with sand. You can have wet sand or dry sand and provide all different figurines and items for kids to make their own picture. This can be used for children and adults in therapy. The picture to the right is a representation of what our group did with sandtray therapy using rice instead of sand.
The video below gives more information on sandtray therapy.

A Crazy Day in the Life of a Psychologist….

Disclaimer: These little excerpts are from many different sources. They were written for informational purposes.

Story One

Psychologist: so draw a picture of your family for me.
Little child: can i draw a picture of when mommy and daddy used to be together.
Psychologist: Sure no problem, its your family picture so draw whoever you want.
After drawing the picture.
Psychologist: what is that daddy has in his hand.
Little child: A gun.
Psychologist: why does daddy have a gun in his hand.
Little child: to kill mommy.

What would you do in a situation like this?
Story Two
Psychologist: Tell me…what do you do in your spare time.
Child: Watch TV
Psychologist: What else to you do besides watching TV?
Child: Play games on the computer or the DS.
Psychologist: Anything else?
Child: No that’s it.
And we wonder why our children are not creative.
Story Three
Child: Miss I know sometimes that teachers come in and you know they in a bad mood or they had a bad day they might have problems at home that day, but Ms. X just has problems because like her day always bad!!!!
We must not our children think this of us.
Story Four
Mother: I don’t know what to do my 6 year old is throwing temper tantrums.
Psychologist: What do you do to discipline him.
Mother: Discipline him, well I do not beat him.
Psychologist: Ok but what consequences are in place for when he throws tantrums or does something wrong.
Mother: I am supposed to have a consequence for tantrums.
There must be consequences for actions. Good consequences for good behaviour and negative consequences for negative behaviour. Parents must be consistent in their discipline.
Jenna Samaroo

Anger Management for Everyone…

People just seem to be very angry all the time these days. Trinidad has become an angry and aggressive society. This anger and aggression, I have noticed stems from the busy lifestyles we are now living. There are demands all the time, the workplace, the family, the friends, school, and the list goes on.

Children in schools are no different. Sometimes, especially the teenagers, tend to be even more angry and aggressive towards their peers, their families, their teachers and those in authority. This anger and aggression from our youths, most times, come from what is going on in the home or their relationship with those in authority. This is just my experience I am sharing…
The other day I was asked to make a presentation on anger management because I cover this topic all the time with mostly youths.
One of the first things I ask young people is when you angry what is body response to anger. All of us need to know the signs that indicate when we are getting angry. These signs come firstly from our bodies. I have found that many people do not know the first physical signs that they are getting angry. Signs vary from person to person and its important for each one of us to be aware of this. There is a list of things that can happen and you need to pay attention.
You can;
start sweating,
get red or go pale,
get a headache,
eyes hurt,
eyes get larger,
breath faster,
muscles tighten in body, face arms,
veins pop out,
grind your teeth,
fist your hands,
creased forehead,
and the list goes on and varies from person to person. Understanding the physical signs that you are getting angry is the first step in anger management and effective control.

The second step to anger management is identifying the triggers. Triggers are the events, persons, situation, memories etc. that makes us angry. Usually it is the same exact things that make us angry over and over again. Sometimes we really have to choose and ask ourselves important questions like do I really need to be angry at this today. Knowing what triggers our anger and maybe choosing a different strategy beside getting angry, can be helpful in problem solving and curbing anger.

The third vital step is to know what works at calming yourself down. There are various ways each person calm themselves down. The calming down process can only take place when we are now becoming aware that we are angry. Therefore the indicator to calm down will come from the initial body responses that says to us “hey I am getting angry”. All of us have varying degrees of anger. So our anger can range from irritated, to annoyed, to vexed, to angry, to ranging angry and out of control. The calming down process has to start at the first signs of anger, so that will be the annoyed and vexed period. Here is where we want to at this stage;
take 3 or 4 deep breaths and let them out slowly,
we can count from 1-20 slowly in our minds,
we can walk away,
take a walk,
take a cold drink,
listen to music,
do an physical activity like exercising,
take a cold shower
and the list goes on.

When we feel angry going into raging angry some of the things we can do is;
beat up on a pillow or cushion,
tear paper like newspapers,
jump up and down,
go outside and scream,
scream into a pillow,

These are the vital steps to anger management. This process obviously has to be altered from person to person. Some triggers are harder to control than others, because the roots go deeper and usually require therapy to overcome this deep rooted source of anger. But in a nutshell this is the skeleton of the process to anger management.

So the next time you get angry take a deep breath and decide if this situation is really worth you getting angry today…..

Jenna Samaroo

Children’s Questions About Sex…..

If your 8 year old ask you what is a condom? what will be your answer?

I had a parent who asked me this question sometime ago and I thought this was very interesting because many parents do not know where to begin when their children start asking questions pertaining to sex.
First of all I tell parents do not lie. Long gone are the days that parents are able to lie to their kids about sex. Our children have access to so much more information than we had when we were their age. In my time there was no cell phone, and the Internet was now becoming accessible. The televisions shows and advertisements were still a great deal more G rated than they are now. Things are very different now, because our kids have access to much more information, therefore if parents do not answer their questions then who will?
The answer of who will is the scary part. Many time when parents do not answer their children’s questions they go to their peers for these answers. Their peers may be misinformed and give wrong information. Peers may give too much information to the child causing confusion, more curiosity and sometimes experimentation.
We have to realise that the times have drastically changed from when we were children or teenagers therefore our parenting styles need to change to suit the times. Our children are being exposed to information, especially about sex, at younger and younger ages. Therefore as parents we MUST be the one give the information when they ask. Giving the information means that we ourselves must have the information. As parents we need to do the research in order to answer our children’s questions. There are many books in the library or information from the internet that can be used to give pointers and help parents talk to their children about questions pertaining to sex.
So when an 8 year old asks what is a condom we must have an age appropriate answer. Our child is not a teenager and at 8 years old sometimes there is only so much understanding that takes place. Therefore we do not want to lie but at the same time we must not go too in depth to cause confusion. We must also know our children, because if we know them and we are aware of their thought process we will be able to know what will confuse them, what will make sense to them and how in depth we can take our discussion.
So an ideal answer might be something a man uses to prevent a woman and himself from getting HIV/Sexually transmitted diseases/ and pregnancy. Some children may ask more questions accordingly and we continue to keep the answers age appropriate. At 8 years old we should use the correct biological names when having discussions and keep checking to see if they understand what we are talking about, because sometimes we may be making them more confused.
Let us not get scared when our children start asking questions about sex at a young age. As parents we should get out there and make sure we are informed and answer the questions. Make sure our kids get the information they seek from us first. Keep the communication channel open, we must never tell our children questions pertaining to sex is inappropriate. Let them come and talk to us about it rather than talk to their peers and others who will give them wrong information and misguide our children.
Jenna Samaroo

Turtle Trip

Recently I had the pleasure of going turtle watching in Grand Riviere for the first time in my life. The experience was really wonderful. I was able to learn so much about leatherback turtles and the wonders of nature. I like doing nature things, and taking pictures of nature. At the moment I have been fooling around a little more with the camera understand setting, lighting etc. So for me this even was an opportunity not only to see something wonderful, but to also continue to play with my camera. 

The beginning of the trip was quite an event, we got off to a late start for a long journey. The drive was tough we had to go through lots of dark winding roads. One of the thing to be very prepared for is motion sickness if you are susceptible to that. After about two and a half hours of driving we finally arrived at Grand Riviere.
Initially when we arrived, everyone was glad to stretch and also excited to see what was happening. There was a proper tour office with bathroom facilities which pleasantly surprised us, since we were not expecting facilities at all. The fee was a mere $15 tt for the tour. 

We started by firstly getting the ground rules of the tour. No bright lights or torches, no flash pictures and no loud noise. All of these things will deter the turtles from coming ashore or it will 
disorient them. After getting the rules for the tour we were able to view and hold some baby turtles. The baby turtles were no more 
than two inches long and felt really like leather!!! They were rough little creatures and they were ready to to swim with their little
 flappers gearing to swim. Our group also had the pleasure of releasing eight baby turtles into the water. 

After releasing the hatchlings to my amazement there were many turtles laying theirs eggs that night. For most of the night turtle after turtle was coming up looking for their places to nest. Nesting season is from March to August every year. The leatherback turtles are an endangered species so the beaches they nest on are usually cut off from public access and wardens guard them day and night. The only access to the beaches are through certified tour guides and one has to buy a licence to go on the beach as
 stated before. 

These turtles come all the way from Africa to nest on out shores. The guides informed us that turtles can reach up to nine feet in length and span from 500 – 2000 pounds!!!
The actual laying off the eggs takes 5-9 minutes but the

 camouflaging of the nest site takes up to 30 minutes. The communication between the turtles is absolutely wonderful, when some go back into the water others immediately come up and start looking for a spot to lay their eggs. 
These reptiles have been dated back to the dinosaur age and it is quite sad that they are now

Our group stayed the night because the guides told us we could take pictures of the turtles in the morning and collect hatchlings. We camped in our bus, which I must say was fun and interesting then at 5:30 am we went out to see the turtles. We were fortunate enough to see two female turtles still on the beach laying their eggs and we got some fantastic pictures. Unfortunately we did not see any hatchlings that were alive. Early predators, vultures and dogs, came out to dig up eggs and eat the hatchlings. 
The experience was a fantastic one, the turtles were amazing creatures. The group of us laughed, chatted, shared and bonded with each other in a meaningful way. I will recommend a trip like this to any nature lover or persons wanting a bonding experience especially families with kids.
Jenna Samaroo

Thank You

I just want to say thank you to a great friend of mine who decided that I needed to do more with my blog, my name and my career. Firstly I would not even have a blog if it were not for the persistence and motivation for my dear friends. Apparently persons follow and like my writing, thoughts and experiences, surprise surprise. I am definitely going to have to be more consistent with my blogs, since I have motivation and the support of my good and dear friends.

So thank you CG 2.0 for your gift I will try my very best to make you proud and to continue writing blogs more consistently.

My new blog address; 

Holders Hill Experience!

I had the opportunity to take in some of the action at the finale of Holder’s Season in Barbados. I must say that this event was a very interesting experience for me! The ambiance was fantastic with lanterns and chandelier lights all over the grounds. The stage set and lighting were bright and colorful representing the Caribbean island perfectly. The ladies came out in their best outfits with sparkles and dazzles like an ole years night event. The atmosphere was light and cheerful with champagne and wine bottles popping every 5 minutes. 

 There were various booths displaying art, craft, jewelry and furniture from all over the Caribbean. There was a wide array of different materials used to make the different items on display. One dynamic couple made their jewelry from ivory, from a seed 
of a plant! Some of the artwork were made from old metal drums from Haiti. The artist flattened out the drums, treat it for rust and made beautiful pieces of fine art.
The event itself started a little late, but according the Caribbean time, it might have started on time. I had the honor of sitting in the media section so my view of the stage was fantastic. The MC was hilarious, he is an Irish comedian called Patrick Kielty. He was well versed with Caribbean and Barbadian events. I thought he did a magnificent job in his research! Mr. Kielty was one of the best acts of the show, I think the holders committee was brilliant in bringing him to MC the show.

The first act was a well renowned pianist Greg Anderson who delighted the crowd with four beautiful pieces. He showed great skill in using the piano. He did slow and fast numbers, and he also showed some unique skill by playing the piano while sitting back to front on the bench! This performance was not your classical piano performance, it incorporated the atmosphere of the island and the people.

The next act was a string quartet by the name Bowjangles, made up of two men and two women. These four thoroughly entertained the crowd with their performance, since they danced while playing their string instruments. Not only did they danced,but the group also appeared to have done some research on the Barbados environment and crowd in order to entertain to the fullest potential. The performance was magnificent! Their dance movements were brisk and had many aerobic movements. It must have taken a great deal of practice and skill to master their exquisite performance.

The last act before the intermission 
was a husband and wife acrobatic team. They did many fantastic moves inside an air bubble showcasing their supreme balance, strength and skills. The lighted bubble along with their fantastic moves was a memorable moment for many.

Finally at the intermission they was some Barbados entertainment. There was a fabulous Jazz band by the name of C4. They consisted of four guys on pan, keyboard, drums and guitar. They were able to set a nice tone for the crowd to eat, drink, chat and socialise until the show started back. The band played some original numbers that earned some moderate applause from the crowd. The pannist was very versed in his fabulous solo, and I thought he might be able to give some Trini pan men some competition!

Unfortunately I was not able to stay for whole second half of the show. But the show was definitely an experience! The atmosphere, art and craft and entertainment were exquisitely different and it adds another dimension to the variety of Caribbean entertainment.
Check out a review of C4 the jazz band at
Jenna Samaroo

Save a Life!

This video touched my heart.

 It was brought to the attention of my good friend CG 2.0 who is big in entertainment in Barbados. He made me aware of how Shaggy is doing a lot of work for the children, producing video and doing concerts to help raise money for sick children to get care. There is a Shaggy make a difference Foundation where all proceed go towards a hospital for children.
It is so fabulous to see our entertainers and super personalities putting their talents to causes such as this because as the song going “the children are our future” and it is up to all of us to invest in whatever way possible to save them. That is something I feel very passionate about and I try every day to make my contribution no matter how small!!!
I feel a great sense of pride to see not only Shaggy but the rallying together our Caribbean musicians to help in his quest and make this beautiful video!!! I will contribute as best as I can for the cause, because its a cause I personally and passionately believe in…..
You to can make a difference by going on the website above!
Jenna Samaroo