Self-Esteem Boosters for Children
According to Carol McGraw, reporter from the Sentinel, a girl’s self-esteem peaks when she is approximately 9 years old (Heart of Leadership, 2015). In addition, McGraw reports that media influences, hormones, and peer pressure negatively affects a young child’s self-esteem. Moreover, approximately 80% of children, 10 years old and older, are afraid of gaining weight and “becoming fat.” As a result, obese children (males and females) typically have lower self-esteems than their non-obese peers (Heart of Leadership, 2015). It is important to build a child’s self-esteem. Why? Well, because low self-esteem can follow a child into adulthood, and lead to relationship dysfunction, workplace issues, psychological disorders, physical ailments, depression, phobias, and anxiety. On the other hand, children with healthy self-esteems typically excel at school, and are happier with themselves, their families, their friends and with life, in general. If you are looking for ways to increase your child’s self-esteem, you have come to the right place. This article will teach you five fun activities that will boost his or her self-esteem and self-confidence.
Does your child exhibit a low self-esteem? If so, it may be time for a candy toss. This fun group activity will boost your child’s self-esteem in no time at all. Begin by asking all of the children (in the group) to stand in a circle. Provide each child with wrapped candies (i.e. Jolly Ranchers, Peppermint Patties, Werther’s Originals, Hersey Kisses, etc.). Next, ask each child to name one of their positive traits (i.e. something positive about themselves). The presenter stands in the middle of the circle. The children, in the group, that do not share that same positive trait are instructed to throw one piece of candy at the presenter (the child in the middle of the circle). Keep repeating this process until every child has participated. At the end of the game, allow all of the children to keep their candies.
“Bragging Rights” is another group activity that will boost your young child’s self-esteem. Begin this activity by asking the children to create “brag books” based on their accomplishments, achievements, talents, traits, and skills. In other words, ask the children to place, in the book, all of the things that they are most proud of. Collect scrapbooking materials and instruct the children on how to make their “brag book” into a scrapbook that they can keep forever. Encourage the children to refer back to the book when they feel “down” or “incapable.” Once the children have finished their “brag books” ask them to reveal what is in their books – one by one. This activity can also be an individual activity for your child. If your child is completing the activity by himself or herself, follow the previous instructions, and have him or her reveal what is in the “brag book” to you.
How Many Compliments Can You Think Of?
If you want to elevate your young child’s self-esteem, a good way to accomplish this is with the activity “How Many Compliments Can You Think Of?” Begin this fun group activity by having each child write his or her name on a sheet of big-lined notebook paper (if the child is too young to write his or her name clearly on the paper, write it on there for him or her). Pass the sheets around the group to each child, and instruct all of the children to write at least two things that make that child special, cool, unique, fun, likable, smart, kind, etc. In other words, each child has to write at least two positive things about the person the sheet belongs to. Once the sheets have been returned to their owners, ask each child to read aloud, if possible, all of the compliments listed on his or her sheet.
Five Things That Make Me Special
An individual journaling activity that will boost your young child’s self-esteem is “Five Things that Make Me Special.” Begin this introspective activity by asking the child to list five positive things that were said or done to him or her that day (i.e. compliments, praise, and recognition). Once the child has written down what made him or her feel special that day, have him or her read aloud what is on the page. The purpose of this activity is to remind the child of how truly special he or she is. Repeat this process every day. If your child is a little older, ask him or her to write a letter to himself or herself detailing what makes him or her special (from the child’s point-of-view). Instruct the child to place the letter in an envelope, and place a stamp on the letter. Go to a public mailbox and mail the letter, so that your child receives it the next day. Ask your child to read the letter when he or she feels “down.” Repeat this activity once a week, and bundle all of the letters together for your child, so he or she has them when needed.
Look What I Accomplished
Lastly, the activity “Look What I Accomplished” is another excellent way to improve your young child’s self-esteem. This activity is set up like a mental obstacle course, so it can be performed individually or in a group. Begin this fun, educational activity by providing your child with a coloring book or big-lined notebook paper (depending on your child’s age), and ask him or her to color within the lines of coloring book, or write his or her name and/or other things on the big-lined notebook paper. Once your child has successfully completed that task, praise him or her. It is important to act as if your child has accomplished a great feat. Next assign a new slightly harder task for your child to complete. Once he or she successful completes this task, praise him or her again. Repeat this process of escalating difficulty to illustrate your child’s capabilities, skills, and talents. It is important to vary the tasks, and to increase the difficulty level each time he or she completes an exercise. Also, constantly encourage your child, while he or she works on the tasks. The activity will help you identify your child’s talents and skills, and help your child feel more confident trying new things.
Education World. (2015). Ten activities to improve students' self-concepts. Retrieved from http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/lesson/lesson085.shtml
Family Education. (2015). Building self-esteem. Retrieved from http://life.familyeducation.com/self-esteem/parenting/34401.html
Heart of Leadership. (2015). Statistics on body image, self-esteem & parental influence. Retrieved fromhttp://www.heartofleadership.org/statistics-on-body-image-self-esteem-parental-influence/
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