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Self-Esteem is an individual's overall evaluation of him or herself, including feelings of general happiness and satisfaction. Having positive self-esteem means you really like yourself, both inside and out. It refers both to how you look and what you believe in. Individuals with a positive self-concept and self-esteem would be able to act independently, assume responsibility, take pride in accomplishments and tolerate frustration.
Young people frequently display a decline in self-concept during elementary school and the transition to middle school. They try to overestimate their competence because they lack the cognitive maturity to critically evaluate their abilities and to integrate information from multiple sources. As youth develop, they better understand how others view their skills and better distinguish between their efforts and abilities. As a result, their self-perceptions become increasingly accurate. If a child has positive self-esteem they tend to believe strongly in certain principles and values. They become capable of acting in his/her own best judgment. Your Little will feel more confident to take on new tasks and their attitude about doing new things will be positive. Your Little might feel more comfortable expressing their feelings and sharing personal information about themselves. Having a positive self-esteem enables them to move through the world with more confidence and assertiveness. Additionally, they genuinely will enjoy themselves and participate in a wide variety of activities. A young person who has positive self-esteem has an increased ability to resist peer pressure and others who try to dominate them. Young people who have positive self-esteem will be more likely to overcome or ignore bullying behavior inflicted by their peers. They also might be able to advocate for their friends who are being bullied.
Teaching your Little how to have positive self-esteem and a healthy self-concept begins with you modeling healthy behavior. Your Little needs to learn by example and hearing you use positive affirming words to describe yourself. This is a great starting point. In addition, to modeling a healthy and positive self-concept, you can teach your Little some important values, beliefs and skills by nurture your own self-esteem. Identify and redirect your Little's inaccurate beliefs. It's important for adults to identify a young person's irrational beliefs about themselves, whether they're about perfection, attractiveness, ability, or anything else. Helping your Little set more accurate standards and be more realistic in evaluating themselves will help them have a healthy self-concept. Be spontaneous and affectionate. Your love will go a long way to boost your Little's self-esteem. Give hugs and tell your Little you're proud of them. Give positive, accurate feedback. Help your Little become involved in constructive experiences. Activities that encourage cooperation rather than competition are especially helpful in fostering self-esteem.
Discuss It/ Do It:
-Engage in a volunteer activity that requires your Little to act as a mentor to a younger person. Suggest that they get involved with a reading program where your Little can read to a younger student. Or ask them to find a volunteer project in the community that would improve a skill they want to work on.
-Allow your Little to choose your next activity but teach them how to organize the activity and plan the day. For ex: If your Little wants to go to Stone Mountain and go hiking then, encourage them to research on the internet the cost, distance and what activities the park offers.
- Ask your little to come up with a song that describes the great qualities and behaviors they believe they have. Make sure you also come up with a song that speaks to your great qualities. Both of you should write the words and perform the song. You can also put on a talent show for your Little's parents/Guardian in the future weeks.
-Start a journal or video diary with your Little entitled "All About Me". As you and your Little spend time together, document the experiences. Document not only the activities you do together but also how they are feeling about the activities and new experiences.
Responsibility shows that a person is able to act without guidance or supervision, because he or she is accountable and answerable for his or her behavior. A responsible person can be trusted or depended upon to do things on his or her own. Being responsible means, following through with what you agree to. Individuals who are responsible do not make excuses or blame others for what they do. Being trustworthy means that others know they can count on you and is a responsible quality. A responsible individual uses good judgment.
Young people who learn responsibility at a young age have an increased awareness that they can do things on their own. Your little might exhibit some independence and ask to take the lead. Young people who learn responsibility often understand the importance of following through with what was asked of them. Allowing your little to take the lead on a certain task even if they do not accomplish the task is a good way to cultivate the skill. Being able to do things on their own will increase their self-esteem. Responsibility teaches young people to take pride in their work and accomplishments. You might begin to notice that your Little is more willing to share their accomplishments with you at school and with friends. Additionally, a responsible young person will have an increased awareness of how to make good decisions about problems they face. Responsibility prepares young people to understand the importance of follow through and trust.
Model responsibility in your daily life. When you make a commitment, follow through. Show your Little that you can keep commitments with them. Keep track of responsibilities with to-do lists that your Little can see and encourage your Little to create their own list. Give you Little opportunities to be responsible. Do not assume that a task is beyond their capabilities but do keep your expectations realistic and allow for mistakes. Make time to teach responsibility. Don't rush your Little through new tasks. The goal is to make sure that they try to achieve their goal even if they do not succeed. Learning responsibility is a process and the more opportunities a young person is afforded to practice being responsible the more they will understand the importance. Do not nag or rescue your Little too much when they forget to do something. Have a discussion about what they forgot and the importance of remembering. And recognize and affirm your Little's responsible behavior.
Discuss it/Do It:
-Design and then research a community service project that you can do together in the community on a subject matter your Little is interested in. Have your little research a topic that they enjoy and ask them to share their ideas
-Design a scavenger hunt. Put together a small scale scavenger hunt in the part. Choose questions or scenarios that require your Little to make a responsible choice. Ex: If I see an elderly person at the grocery store and they drop an item on the floor, do I walk past them and ignore them or do I offer my help and pick up the item for them? Your little will need to collect all the clues in order to win the prize.
-Come up with a 10 Ten To-Do List of things they want to do over the year. Have them be responsible for researching the activity.
-Make a list of 10 Ten things you wish you learned when you were younger. And ask them to create a list of things they wish they would be able to learn. After you share your Top Ten list then ask them to share what their top 10 would be. Remind them that there might have been some things they wished they did in years past for example: learned a new sport, read more books, tried harder to make more friends etc. Encourage them to think about skills they wish they would have
Self-Confidence is a measure of one's belief in one's own abilities. It is the belief that you can successfully perform a desired behavior. Additionally, it is the feeling of trust in ones qualities and judgment. Self confidence is an attitude that is characterized by a positive belief that one can take control of one's life and of one's plans.Â Self-Confident individuals do not rely on the approval of other people in order to affirm their existence.
A self-confident person will be able to do what he/she believes in despite opposition. They are willing to take risks and go the extra mile, admit mistakes and learn from them. Additionally, they can accept compliments graciously-realizing that what he/she did was excellent, and not downplaying (or upgrading) his/her role in the matter. Having self-confidence enables a person to take risks, to challenge themselves and move on to new achievements. Being self-confident provides the individual the belief that if things go wrong; they can be made right. Young people struggle with self-confidence because they are experiencing many social, emotional and physical changes in their lives during adolescence. Peer influence is extremely prevalent in their adolescence and the influence that friends have over how they feel about themselves is significant. Additionally, as your little journeys through puberty, their confidence level will fluctuate. It might appear that they don't seem very confident or that they are overly confident about something. This period of time is typical and often a period of time marked with self-exploration and change. Young people feel confident more so when the adults in their lives encourage and empower them with out judgment but provide guidance to help them achieve their goals.
Teach your Little to question conventional wisdom. There will always be people who say that something can't be done. Help your Little identify the difference between those who have real wisdom and those who are just naysayers. Emphasize that practical knowledge is just as important as learned knowledge (street smarts/book smarts). Knowledge is at the heart of self-confidence, especially for young people. If your Little knows how to do something, they will be more confident in their abilities. Persistence leads to success. One of the most difficult things for young people to learn is that it's fine to fail and that when they do, they can get back up and try again. Your Little needs to see that it's acceptable to stand up for what they believe even when they're unsuccessful or their stance is unpopular. Find out what your Little is good at and encourage it. Nothing breeds self-confidence better than success.
Discuss It/Do It:
-Ask your little what kind of new skill/talent they would like to learn. Ex: water skiing or bowling. Have your Little choose a new talent to learn and then take them once a month to practice the talent.
-Take your little to a drama workshop at the local children's theatre or improv center. Make sure you are able to participate with them. Encourage them to be expressive and show their creativity. Self-expression is a great way to boost their self-confidence.
-Tell your Little over dinner about an experience growing up where you needed to work on building your confidence.
-Share with your little the reasons why you are confident about your abilities now and what you learned when you were younger that has helped. Tell them what you are most proud of in your life. Share with them a success you have achieved and why it was important to them. This is a great opportunity to tell them about your professional and personal accomplishments.
Self-Awareness includes recognition of our personality, our strengths and weaknesses, our likes and dislikes. Developing self-awareness can help us to recognize when we are stressed or under pressure. It is also often a prerequisite for effective communication and interpersonal relations, as well as for developing empathy for others. Self awareness is a way for us to explore our individual personalities, value systems, beliefs, natural inclinations, and tendencies.Â
Self awareness is important because it allows us to the opportunity to have a better understanding of ourselves. We become empowered to make changes and to build on our areas of strength as well as identify areas where we would like to make improvements. Being self-aware is a journey and the beginning of this journey takes place in adolescence. This time in your Little's life is the training ground for exploring "self" and figuring out who they are. For young people being self-aware is not a concept they will most likely understand. When you discuss this concept be prepared to share with them examples of what you mean and what you expect. Asking "why" questions after they do something or because they are doing something is a great way to "check in" with them and allows them to think about their motivation. When you ask questions make sure that they are not constructed out of judgment but rather a way for you to learn more about the things they care about. They will need help understanding the concept of self-awareness and finding a "youth -friendly" approach to teaching and modeling this important skill will be important. Self-awareness is often a first step to goal setting.Â Being self-aware is a life long process; however instilling transformative values and behaviors about self will enable your Little to become more self-aware. Becoming self aware does not mean being selfish though. Discovering the inner you will enable you to give more of yourself and others and this will benefit your relationships.
Encourage your Little's individuality. Ask them questions about their likes and dislikes. Cultivate in them a thirst for learning more and exploring things they do not know a lot about. Provide a nurturing and emotionally secure environment for your Little to express themselves freely and with out judgment. . Ask your Little questions about themselves. You might need to ask many questions because young people have a hard time freely sharing their feelings about how they feel. Explore their group identity and encourage them to work with others to learn about new experiences and ideas. Ask your Little questions that are intriguing to them and encourage them to ask you questions about you. Encourage your Little to think about their past, present and future. Being self-aware for young people, means being aware of how they feel about themselves and their world.
Discuss It/Do It:
-Organize a game night. Choose a different game every few months that are not only fun but teach your Little about strengths and areas they can improve.
-Organize a Movie Night. Show the movie "Akeelah and the Bee (PG)". Make popcorn and talk about the movie afterwards.
-Share with them all the jobs you have had and tell them why you chose the career you did. Explain to them why you love your career and how it makes you feel when you feel accomplished at work. Then ask your Little to share with you their five favorite careers they would like to explore.
-Ask your little to tell what they think their autobiography might sound like if they were writing it today. Tell them to share with you 5 qualities they would hope people would say they possess and five qualities they would like to improve on. Make sure that you share your autobiography with them. Talk about how many years it has taken you to learn even more about yourself.
Self -control refers to having power or control over one's own actions. It also means that an individual knows right from wrong. It allows individuals to know that the right thing to do is to be tolerant of others despite differences. Additionally, self-control helps you learn to understand how to identify your choices when you are in potentially anger-provoking situations. Having self-control means you are practicing independent pro-social decision making skills. Practicing self-control means you have the ability to reject instant gratification in favor of something better. Self-control gives you the power to follow your decisions, stick to them and not change your mind too often, and therefore be able to reach your goals.
Self-control is an important skill for your Little to learn. It refers to a young person having power or control over his or her own actions. Having control over their actions does not always mean that they will make smart or healthy choices. But in the process of understanding their choices they will learn the meaning of self-control as an opportunity to refrain from unhealthy choices. It also means that they know right from wrong. Even when your Little knows right from wrong they might not always use self-control because having self-control takes time, patience and practice. It is important for you to acknowledge the steps they take toward exerting and exhibiting self-control in a situation. Young people who do not make choices about their own behavior, but instead rely on other children, parents, teachers, or adults to make choices for them, do not learn self-control. They may follow others' bad choices and get involved in ridiculing others, taking away others' things, and not taking responsibility for the consequences of their behavior. If your Little learns self-control at an early age, then they will feel better about the choices that they do make.
By modeling self-control, your Little will see healthy ways for dealing with conflict, stress, excitement and challenges. Model good behavior. Use appropriate language and treat people with respect and dignity even in the toughest situations. Young people are sponges and they will pick up negative behaviors that you model. Share with them how you engage in self- control. Provide your little with tangible examples of what you do.Â Talk aboutÂ your own strategies to achieve self-control. Share with your Little what strategies you use to be successful. Don't be reluctant to talk about the importance of discipline and delayed gratification. Don't lecture your Little on this issue, but teach them strategies they can use to be successful. Instead, teach them strategies to organize their time so they finish segments of their work before they reward themselves with something. Reward delayed gratification. Acknowledge your Little's efforts and specifically praise their willingness to work hard at something that won't have immediate positive consequences.
Discuss It/Do It:
-Design a cartoon/comic strip or story that tells the story of someone who had to have self-control. Make the story line, draw the pictures and then get it printed for your Little to keep.
-Engage in a sports and wellness day. Make healthy shakes and snacks and go to the park and create an obstacle course for your Little. Make sure the obstacle course is age appropriate but also challenging.
-Discuss with your Little when you have lost control in a situation and what the consequences where. Tell them about a "disagreement you had" or when you wish you would have reacted differently to something someone said. Then ask your little to share with you what makes them angry or upset.
-Discuss with your Little a time when you made a "bad" choice because your so-called friends influenced you. Ask your little what kind of pressures they have at school and come up with ways they can practice self-control in those situations.