Thursday, March 28, 2013

Self-Esteeming Through Spring

Self-esteem is how one feels about oneself.  This encompasses pride, respect, and sense of self-worth.  There are five building blocks to self-esteem:
  1. Security: feeling comfortable and safe
  2. Selfhood: feeling a sense of individuality, self-knowledge
  3. Affiliation: feeling acceptance, relatedness, and a sense of belonging
  4. Mission: feeling a sense of purpose, setting attainable goals
  5. Competence: feeling successful and accomplished, awareness of strengths and acceptance of needs
All human behavior is based on the need for esteem and intrinsic in human nature is the need for esteem.  Dr. Nathaniel Branden regards "self-esteem as the single most powerful in our existence...[He states that] the way we feel about ourselves affects virtually every aspect of our existence."  The good news is that self-esteem is learned, therefore, it can be taught. 

Here are some strategies you can try at home: 

  • Post affirmations that describe your child around the house or hide them in places (like a sock drawer or pocket) to build them up.
  • Hang up an "I Can" calendar in your child's bedroom or on the fridge (someplace where they will see it often).  Make sure the calendar has enough space available for your child to write something they are proud of themselves for doing at the end of each day.  They could share this at dinner or as part of a nighttime routine.
  • Model healthy ways that you deal with feelings, this will aid your child to connect feelings with responses that show respect to themselves as well as to others.
  • Enjoy family time together and integrate self-esteem building activities such as: the high and low of your day, compliment each other, highlight different family members on different days, etc.
  • With the plethora of schoolwork and artwork that comes home, it becomes difficult to continue posting each masterpiece.  One easy way to organize and preserve work is to have your child pick out the ones they are most proud of and add them to a binder or scrapbook each week.  This is a simple way to let your child know that you value their work.
  • Have your child make a superhero card that advertises their true characteristics: statistics about themselves, groups/teams to which they belong, abilities, hobbies, interests, likes, beliefs, history, birthplace, where they live, school, etc.  They may even wish to design their own "crest" or symbol that represents them.
  • Practice "I Statements" (I feel _____, when you ____, so please _____.) to encourage healthy expression and positive means to conflict resolution.  In doing this, you acknowledge that your love for them is separate from your disapproval of their actions.

Around the hallways I have hung up different posters that promote self-esteem to encourage and remind children to have a positive attitude about themselves.  April is a great time of the year for this with the stress of STAAR testing looming above their heads.

Here are some posters I found on Pinterest:

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