byNeil Callahan4-H Extension Agent Child Self-Esteem Training
What Is Self-Esteem? • The degree to which children feel accepted and valued by adults and peers who are important to them. • Self-esteem is developed from within a person and shaped as well by the people around them (Katz, 1995).
Self Worth Self worth is multi-faceted. It is not just one thing. Children may feel good about one aspect of themselves and not good about another. Here are some examples of feelings children have that effect their self worth: • Success in school. • Making and keeping friends • Athletic skills • Physical appearance
Trust • Developing a sense of trust in the people who care for them is the first important stage of developing a sense of self in children. • Adults who are warm and caring help children lay the foundation for a healthy self concept.
Negative Reinforcement • When we hear words like, “Shut up! What do you think you’re doing?” …we may not venture a try the next time. • When we are yanked by the shirt or arm and told to sit down and shut up. …we may feel we have done something wrong by simply being.
Positive Reinforcement • When we are given a caring touch on the shoulder or a hug that says some cares. …we may feel good about who we are and think good thoughts. • When we hear words like, “Great Job! You have worked hard.” …we may want to work even harder.
What Helps Children Mature With A Positive Sense Of Self • Age- With age, a child will learn increased control, gain memory, develop cognitively, and learn language and a sense of how to plan for the future. • Follow through- Follow through is very important when it comes to children. Always do what you say you will do. • Modeling- Adults need to serve as positive role models. Your actions should reflect this. • Feeling in control- Provide children with age-appropriate choices. Offer two choices you can live with, and give the child an opportunity to learn to make decisions by choosing.
Strategies For Nurturing A Positive Sense Of SelfSchool-age Children • Respect a child’s strengths, and they will respect you. • Help the child set goals, and then link ongoing efforts with success. • Examine values. Self-esteem is grounded in what a person values. • Identify and talk to children about feelings. Show you care even if you can not do anything about the problem. • Model healthy ways to express anger. • Model acceptable behaviors such as kindness, safety, manners, cooperation, sharing, and empathy. • Value a child’s opinion and respect him or her as person. • Help children develop an internal sense of self-control.
Strategies For Nurturing A Positive Sense Of SelfTeenagers • Keep talking to teens even if it seems they do not listen or care. • Talk to teens about making good choices and about the many ways you can express how you feel about others. • Help teens to start planning for the future. • Use humor when appropriate when dealing with teenagers. • Build on their interests by finding outlets for their talents.
Quick Self-esteem Builders • Help a child plan something. • Help a child identify and explore a hobby. • Be available to the children when needed. • Help children learn more about proper hygiene. • Answer their questions the best you know how. • Respect their needs. • Use positive reinforcement through positive statements. • Do something together with a child.
Reflections Of A Teacher I’ve come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized. Haim Ginott from Teacher an Child, 1972