When it comes to self-esteem, the “emotion” that tends to make us feel content, proud, or even happy when it comes to ourselves. It’s also a concept that makes us feel like we are worthy to others as well as valued by others too. Self-esteem is a lot like another psychological element; confidence. When we have confidence it makes us want to try new things, learn new things, and more often than not it makes us want to lunge at new things even if we are nervous or scared. Self-esteem, like confidence though, is something that is not ingrained into every one. Sometimes it just has to be taught. Thankfully, there are ways you can go about teaching self-esteem to kids and adults with special needs. Here are a few things to consider when it comes to teaching Self Esteem.
Most people would agree that the first two places that self-esteem starts is at school with a teacher like Shari Duddy or at home. But, self-esteem can also be built in other locations of life as well. One thing to consider to help raise a sense of self accomplishment and self-esteem is by letting your child, depending on their age and grasp of safety subjects is to let them get a job. A young person that has a job will also be taught other things that pertains to a job, such as having to get up earlier, having to make lunch for themselves before they go to sleep the night before, picking out clothes, staying organized, etc. These are all positive traits alongside the responsibilities of getting a job. The job can be as simple or complex as to what they can handle; door greeter, hostess, dishwasher for a restaurant, data entry job, etc. Allow them to get a job that they would bloom at, but also enjoy too. Use a job that would either help bring out positive traits about your kids that you or they already know about, or any underlying traits that have not been brought to light yet.
It doesn’t matter if you are a child or an adult, sometimes learning something new can be really frustrating, especially if you don’t know what the definition is of the new things you are trying to learn, or you don’t know the boundaries, guidelines or rule set, etc. For example, younger kids who are trying to learn how to load the dishwasher and be more responsible around the house may oftentimes become frustrated and may want to give up. It’s just something that happens from time to time. Instead, of letting them give up, give them encouragement on how much they are learning, give them tips on how to succeed, etc. Praise is always a welcomed thing no matter if its parent teaching child or teacher teaching child.
There is nothing wrong with working alone or with working in groups – each has its own benefits and challenges. But, sometimes when it comes to self-esteem, it’s better to have your children work in groups, rather than alone. First off, it keeps them from feeling like they are alone in the equation. Second off, group’s help children build their communication and essentially learn how to work with people, rather than against them in figuring a problem out. Thirdly, when a child works in a group they tend to be able to help other kids that need help – this brings in a huge sense of accomplishment and self-esteem when they can help someone who they are teamed up with in figuring out a challenge or a problem. Essentially, it allows them to feel like the “star” for the day, which definitely helps raise confidence, self-awareness of what they truly are capable of doing, as well as self-esteem. Working in groups may not seem very powerful, but give it a try and you might be surprised to see a real positive change in your child!