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Explain how to support children and young people’s self-confidence and self-esteem
A fundamental part of emotional development is the development of a young person’s self-confidence and self-esteem. Self-esteem can be defined as how you feel about yourself and your perceptions of yourself. Self-confidence is how you feel about your abilities and is dependent on each situation; it is shown through an individual’s behaviour and personality.
There are four ways in which we can support our children in this area: interest, listen, expression and support.
INTEREST : It is important to show a genuine interest in what a child is doing, learning about, discussing etc. In the class, ensure that you lower your body to their level and encourage them while they are working using lots of praise individually and in front of the class. This will also help to build a strong trusting relationship with pupils.
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LISTEN: By listening to a child this will also develop a strong bond and allow you to tune into a child’s behaviour and pick up on anything that may be upsetting them. I always make sure I make time to listen to whatever news and information the children tell me, giving them my undivided attention. This can gain trust as well especially if they need to express any worries. “The child needs to know that you are there to listen and, most importantly, that you will believe what he or she tells you” (Meggit 2013 p.142)
EXPRESSION: A child must be able to feel that is perfectly normal to show a range of emotions they can feel sadness and also happiness and enjoyment. This creates a well-rounded individual that should feel confident enough to understand and express any concerns they may have.
SUPPORT: Staff must always support and be there for the children in all situations whether they are related to school or home life. A friendly face and a smile at the start of the day can work wonders and will make you more approachable. Children need also to be supported through the school day, encourage pupils to try a more challenging activity like a complicated sum or climbing on a piece of gym equipment. This will motivate them and allow them attain higher levels.
6.2 Analyse the importance of supporting resilience in children and young people
“Resilience is the capacity to bounce back from adversity. Protective factors increase resilience, whereas risk factors increase vulnerability. Resilient individuals, families and communities are more able to deal with difficulties and adversities than those with less resilience. (www.gov.uk 2014)
Teaching staff can help children to become confident individuals, to grow in independence and think for themselves. The more confident a child the more likely they are to be able to overcome adverse situations. In the class room children need support and encouragement but they also need a certain element of freedom to become more independent. For example for younger age groups allow them to dress themselves for PE or encourage them to put a dressing up costume on independently. This will teach them important skills, they may be frustrated initially but will feel a great sense of achievement when they can button up a shirt.
With modern life being more pressurised and hectic we need to take time to reward and praise, recognise great efforts being made by a pupil in all areas of school life. This can help develop their own self-awareness, have a more positive attitude about themselves and set goals for the future.
“Emotional intelligence or emotional well-being involves developing: positive self-esteem and self-image; emotional strength to deal with life’s highs and lows; confidence to face the world with optimism; and an awareness of our own feelings and those of other people” ( Kamen, 2012, p.300)
6.3. Explain why it is important to work with the child or young person to ensure they have strategies to protect themselves and make decisions about safety
Nowadays we need to teach our children and young children both the dangers of face to face contact but also online contact too. They need to understand and recognise potential dangers and to be able to prevent putting themselves at risk and avoid harm.
“You can teach children to be safe without scaring them – You just need to know how.” (www.kidpower.org 2014)
Developing awareness starts in the early years foundation and continues right through to KS4 and by building trust with students as a support assistant they will be able to confide and talk to you if needs be.
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When explaining the need for safety it is important that it is dealt with calmly as you don’t want to increase fear and anxiety in the pupils. Local police officers often come into schools to discuss stranger safety, pupils are constantly reinforced about the importance of e-safety, road safety and the green cross code is often taught by outside groups in a fun but informative way and as they mature discussions which involve relationships, solvent/alcohol abuse must take place. PSHE (personal, social and health education) lessons do provide a perfect forum for such issues and to discuss problematic issues.
As an adult you must remember to address these issues using age appropriate language, make sure they have the knowledge to safeguard themselves, explain what is appropriate/inappropriate, not to keep secrets and that you can say no. My school setting also communicates with parents over the issues of e-safety and stranger danger.
6.4 Explain ways of empowering children and young people to make positive and informed choices that support their well-being and safety.
Children and young people need to be empowered in order to make positive and informed choices and this in turn will support their well-being and safety.
“Therefore, the most effective way to teach children they have the power to take positive action — to work through the challenges before them (now and later in life), is to encourage this belief in ourselves, and to make choices — take action — that reflects this belief.” (www.earthkids.com 2014)
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), changed the ways children are treated and viewed and outlines children’s rights and this document has empowered children. Within schools, teaching staff must help pupils to make the safe decisions, be supportive but discuss reasons. Children always push boundaries and as adults we must allow them to take and manage risks and grow in independence. For example when teaching children about road safety , they will be shown how to cross a road safely – stop, look ,listen and holding an adults hand, then the next step would be to cross with them without holding their hand and eventually the last stage would be crossing on their own. They are now empowered to make their own decision but throughout the process they have been supported and will understand the reasons for each stage.
www.earthskids.com/empwr.aspx (accessed November 2014)
www.gov.uk/resilence_in_schools_health_inequalities 2014 (accessed November 2014)
Kamen, T. (2011) Teaching Assistant’s Handbook for Level 3: Supporting Teaching and Learning in schools. Hodder Education
www.kidpower.org/library/article/safe-without-scared (accessed November 2014)
Meggit.C., Bruce.T., Grenier.J., (2012) Child Care and Education (2nd Edition) Hodder Education
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