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5 Easy Ways to Strengthen Kids’ Self-Esteem

BLOG6.6I saw a news report on a study last week that said girls are starting to worry about their size and appearance as early as age 5. The study continued by saying this leads to kids picking up anxieties and developing low self-esteem.

And it's not just young girls. All of our kids are struggling with messages they hear and see around them, especially in music and on television. As a child grows with low self-esteem, it leads to more problems later on in life, like depression.

It can sometimes be easy to tell when a child is struggling with low self-esteem. While you are teaching, do you have kids who degrade themselves? Do they not want to participate in activities? Do they give up quickly during tasks? According to KidsHealth, these may be signs of kids who are dealing with low-self esteem.

So, what can you do as a leader? Here are five easy ways to strengthen kids' self-esteem.

  • Pat on the back-   It's easy to give your attention to class troublemakers instead of the quiet kids. Far too often, leaders spend a majority of their time on one or two disruptive kids. Giving honest compliments to kids will help improve their self-esteem and give the others examples of what to do.
  • Know names-   It's a simple thing. Just call your kids by their names. I'll admit it, -when I started teaching, it never occurred to me how important it was to call kids by name. But, according to pediatrician Dr. William Sears, calling kids by their names makes them feel special, unique, and important.
  • Super Service-   Give kids a chance to prove to themselves that they can make a difference. Help them take on a service project. Not only does it give them a chance to show God's love to others, but it also builds confidence in their own abilities.
  • Add Adults-   Sad but true, some kids don't get the love they need at home. Give the kids a chance to be around positive adult role models. Let them sit in with the adult choir. Have them pray with the senior class. Encourage bonding and give the groups time to talk together.
  • Watch your words-   The worst thing we can do is hurt a child's self-esteem while they are with us at church. Laycie Costigan, a friend and fellow Group employee, recently wrote an amazing article called No Shame On You. In it, she points out how the way we speak to our kids could embarrass them or lead them in the wrong way. The article changed the way I choose my words and how I speak to kids.

Self-esteem is all about feeling loved and being confident in your own abilities. We can use the Bible to help kids who are struggling in those two areas. Remind kids that they are loved (Psalm 36:5), that they were made special (Isaiah 64:8), and that they can do big things for God (1 Timothy 4:12).

Posted at 13:24


Lola Omotosho said...
This is wonderful! Thank you for this information.
June 12, 2012 07:35
David Jennings (author) said...
To Lola Omotosho- Thank you for reading! I have had kids in my ministry that show signs of low self-esteem. It is important to give these wonderful kids the emotional pick-me-up that they need!
June 13, 2012 10:44

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