Self-esteem is very important to cultivate in children. Having self-esteem not only helps in sports, but also in school, personal relationships and eventually in the workplace. Building self-esteem is not as simple as flattery. Self-esteem is something we earn, not something we are given. To this purpose, here is a list of self esteem activities for kids.
First- “What is self-esteem?” Some people equate self-esteem with confidence, but that’s only part of the equation. While good self-esteem in kids comes from being confident in their abilities, there are other factors – such as awareness, respect for others and a drive to succeed. We want our kids to have good self esteem because that means they have a good sense of worth and self-respect.
A good self-esteem will help them be happy in life and succeed in their endeavors. You know that saying, “We only accept the love we think we deserve.” Well, if we don’t hold ourself in high esteem, we won’t push for the healthy relationship, the better job, or whatever it is that makes us happy. At the same time, learning self respect should come with learning to respect others so that you get a person with high self esteem but not one that is arrogant or overbearing.
If you find your child talks themselves down, help them learn to talk themselves up. Help them recognize their good qualities and traits. Wendy Lynne, the Director of Mental Toughness Academy, suggests kids can begin to build confidence by focusing on their positive qualities when they feel down on themselves. If they say something like, “I’m not good at anything.” You might respond, “Well that isn’t true. You are good at lots of things. Tell me 3 things right now that you are good at.” Help them come up with things they do well like help their friends, help with chores, being kind to others, etc.”
Also, side note to parents: If your child criticizes him or herself excessively, make sure they aren’t picking up that cue from the way that you treat yourself. Everyone should cut themselves some slack, even you!
Is there a child in your kid’s class or team who doesn’t perform as well as they do? They have to work harder to learn things or simply don’t have a natural talent at doing those things your child does really well. We need to teach our children that instead of putting them down or going out of their way to avoid them, one of the best things they can do is offer to help them.
If the child is having trouble with a certain skill, have your child offer to help by going over the drills with them so they can get better. By helping their team members, they’ll not only be building their own confidence, but their self esteem will also skyrocket from having improved someone else’s abilities.
Likewise, if your child is struggling with something, encourage them to ask their coach or friends for help. Being able to go to another adult is a very important life skill to acquire.
I once knew a kid who was great at playing the goalie on his soccer team. Nothing got past him. His teammates loved him, because they knew that they could focus on their own positions and he made them look good. He was full of confidence and self esteem that carried over into every aspect of his life.
One day, the coach decided to change things up during practice and made him switch positions with one of the midfielders. The midfielder was very confident in his own skills, and thought that he would have to work less because all he would have to worry about was tending the goal.
The goalie, in is new position, was showing signs of doubt and felt intimidated because of how much of the field he had to cover in his new position. As the practice game went on, one goal after another was scored, while the all-star goalie stood in the middle of the field, too intimidated by his own mind to move around.
When the coach blew the whistle for a ten minute break, something totally surprising happened – instead of the usual name calling that would come with missed goals and bad plays, the goalie and the center midfielder got together to trade information and pointers on how to play their new positions better.
When practice resumed, fewer goals were scored and the goalie was now zipping around with much more confidence in his new midfield position. It turned out to be a great way for the kids to gain self-esteem doing something out of the ordinary and not being afraid to go to others for help.
Likewise, trying a completely new sport or activity may challenge your child in a new way or even help them find a talent they didn’t know they had. The growth mindset is a key part of trying new things and overcoming set backs. Going out there and doing something out of their comfort zone, stretches them and helps them believe they can reach higher.
Positive affirmations can help your child develop their self-esteem and sense of optimism. Grab your free printable poster of positive affirmations for kids at natastahl.com. She also shares lots of great tips to make saying affirmations part of your family’s daily routine!
Using some creative play on words, you child can add a bit of cheer to someone’s day with these simple fruit painted kindness rocks. This activity mixes several self esteem building opportunities together- they get to either try their hand at an artistic endeavor or they get to show their skill. Either way is a win. Plus, being kinds to others is a quality they can be proud of giving out these kindness rocks is sure make everyone’s day! Visit sustainmycrafthabit.com for the full tutorial.
Learning new skills, especially ones that help develop a sense of independence, certainly helps build self esteem. We all like to know that we are capable of caring for ourselves if need be. Teaching kids skills like cooking and doing their own laundry can help them feel more confident and capable. Here are some tips for teaching kids how to become more organized. Organization can help them feel more prepared and it can even help improve their grades.
Goal setting is an important skill to teach children early on. Setting and working towards small goals can be a great way to build self esteem at an early age. You can get a free goal setting worksheet for kids at simplycreateinspire.com
I hope these self esteem activities for kids help your child to approach things with a growth mindset and feel confident despite setbacks and failures. If they learn how to give other people respect and help, as well as show a willingness to learn there will be no obstacle that can stop them for long.
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