Self-esteem is a way of thinking and feeling about oneself: feeling proud of what one can do and believing in oneself, even when we don’t succeed at first: It is seeing and appreciating our own good qualities, such as being capable.
What are some strategies that we can use to boost self-esteem in ourselves and in others?
Healthy self-esteem is great, but even individuals with the healthiest self-esteem can question themselves from time to time. And whether or not we feel totally confident in ourselves at any given moment, we always have an opportunity to boost our own self-esteem as well as that of others.
Boosting the self- esteem of others is an act of kindness that also raises self-esteem in ourselves. The children and I explored things they could say or do. It was decided that a well-placed compliment can really make someone feel good. The ideas for compliments ranged from “that is such a pretty shirt you are wearing” to “the way you work hard makes me want to work hard”, which essentially is saying, “You inspire me!” Beautiful, right?
We spoke about offering encouragement and assistance. For example: “You may feel like you can’t get this but I think you can. I can help you.” Or “You may see yourself that way but I don’t.” This might seem pretty deep for fourth grade, but the ideas came from the fourth graders! Kids this age are so insightful and capable of kindness.
Boosting Self-esteem of Others in Sports
Sports can be competitive at every age. It is easy to not want to pass the ball to the player on the team who doesn’t play that well. We discussed why it is important that we give those team members a chance. When we pass the ball to a teammate we are passing that teammate trust. When we pass our trust to another teammate it not only can boost their self-esteem, but in doing so gives them the confidence to try harder. Your teammate gets more “real time” practice and the increased self- confidence can help them to focus more. It’s a win-win!
So what about those times when we ourselves need a little boost?
Following are the strategies we explored:
● Turn “I can’t” into “I can!” Sometimes when we feel like we can’t do something we need to just go for it! Decide to think “I can give it a try,” “I can handle this,” “I’ll give it my best,” or “I’ll ask someone to help me to do this.”
● Try your best. You can feel better about anything when you know you have worked hard and did the best you can do. Do your best at whatever you do and your self-esteem will grow.
● Spend time with people who love you. Find time to do things with your parent or family. It helps to remind you that you belong.
● Pitch-in! Doing nice things for parents like helping with meals, helps you feel great about yourself. It helps you realize that you make a difference.
As parents we give our children chores for various reasons. Whether we feel it is time, are teaching them values, or just need the help. But it is so important that we chat with our children about how the chores they do help us, and are valued. It is a huge boost to their self-esteem! And if you haven’t explored chores with your child yet, it’s a great time to start. They are totally capable and will feel great --even if they moan and groan a little!