Want to know how to better boost children’s self esteem? Here’s a fun and simple tool you can start using right away.
NOTE: This is a guest blog by the inspiring Chantelle Adams, founder of Foundations For Success
I love helping to boost children’s self esteem.
I believe children learn best from doing and experiencing something – rather than merely hearing words from an adult.
With this in mind, whenever I’m doing one of my school assembly programs, I always include a multitude of fun and engaging activities that teach a valuable lesson.
First, I ask for a volunteer to help me lift my backpack, which I have on the floor in front of me. Kids are always excited and quite confident that they will be able to easily lift my bag.
But when they try, they struggle to lift it even an inch.
Because this bag is filled with gigantic rocks.
I then ask if they would like to carry this backpack around with them for the rest of the day.
Of course I get a resounding NO!
I tell the students that each rock represents someone’s negative words, actions or beliefs about themselves.
This exercise symbolizes the invisible backpack that most of the students are carrying around with them everyday, and it is so exhausting.
No wonder so many students are not reaching their full potential with all the negative baggage they are hauling around.
As we talk, I start to take out rocks and share with them what each one could represent in their life…
“Your mom was upset with you for making her late again and you know she just wishes you weren’t in her life anymore, your friends laughed at your new glasses… they must think you look like such a geek, your dad has never really been in your life so you must not be worth his time.”
Then I make sure they understand…
“You have to let go, forgive and move on to truly be able to be the best you can be. You also need to search out the truth in each of the situations.”
“Your mom doesn’t wish you were not in her life, she just wants you to get out of bed on time and your friends were just making light of the situation and were trying to make you laugh, and your dad has his own baggage that he is dealing with and you are so worth his time, but you cannot control your dad.” Kids begin to nod in agreement.
“These beliefs can keep you stuck if you let them! Don’t give up all your energy and power to these negative and often false beliefs.”
I say this with the utmost of love for these kids p who I know are struggling and need someone to tell them it is going to be ok.
“How often do you find your mind wandering to the worse case scenario or blowing situations out of proportion? Let’s keep these things in check, alright?”
I then share some examples of people who had the courage to throw away those rocks that were weighing them down.
And I share stories about people who did not let anyone stop them from living their truth.
He was a young boy who loved to draw and sketch but someone told him that he had no talent. This could have been a rock that he carried with him for the rest of his life but he chose to disregard it, to let go, forgive and keep on drawing.
He was also fired from a newspaper because they said he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
Today, most childhoods wouldn’t be the same without the amazing imagination of Walt Disney.
His teachers labeled him “slow” and unable to learn. But Einstein just had a different way of thinking. He later won the Nobel Prize in physics.
Oprah Winfrey was fired from her television reporting job because they told her she wasn’t fit to be on screen.
But Oprah rebounded and became the undisputed queen of television talk shows. Many lives have been changed because Oprah chose to throw away that rock and believe in her ability, regardless of what others might
Our kids need to develop the ability to see their truth, to own it and to choose what they carry with them.
In order for our kids to develop a strong foundation for individual success in their life they need to understand who they are at their core.
In order to do this they need to take time to be still, to be mindful and to be aware of what they choose to believe about who they are and what they can accomplish.
Let’s start together to build a generation of kids who tune in, listen with their heart, and walk in their own path to light the way for others to live a truly authentic, happy and successful life.
Make it a practice to limit kids screen time and make sure they have time each day to be still with their own thoughts.
This is the perfect time to do self- reflection exercises with them.
Have kids ask themselves questions to gain a better understanding of their truest self.
Am I happy right now?
What happened today that made me feel angry, upset, or sad
and how did I handle it?
What did I do today that made me feel awesome?
How can I add more of this awesomeness to my life?
What is something I learned about myself today?
Take time to help your kids learn more about their likes, dislikes, talents, strengths and weaknesses and always, always encourage them to be true to who they are.