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Counselor’s Hub: Build Self-esteem
29 Apr
  • Counselor’s Hub: Build Self-esteem

Is negative self-esteem something that kids can grow out of?

We know from brain research that ability is not fixed. Brain plasticity has us understanding that a healthy growth mindset is critical to facing the normal challenges that life throws at us. 

We all know someone that demonstrates resilience even when facing great physical, social or even health challenges. The relationships and connectedness they feel to the people they have around them at home and at school can make the world of difference to a child’s resilience. Their inner drive and belief inspire others. Immersing kids with positive affirmations, and mantras and coaching them to persevere is just as important as mathematics, English, and science in the opinion of this counselor. Be a role model for your kids, encourage, instill a never-give-up mentality, and encourage them to strive for personal best rather than winning, as we know that winning is fleeting. These subtle shifts in parenting can change a child’s fixed mindset to a more growth-oriented one over time. Never too late to start!
Four tips on how parents can modify their behavior to help build self-esteem.

1.    Let them know you value effort rather than perfection. Kids can miss out on lots because they don’t try due to their anxiety about failing.
2.    Reassure them it’s ok to make mistakes and that it is part of life. Getting it wrong happens to everyone. Michael Jordan said, “I have failed so many times and that is why I succeed.” Sir James Dyson failed 5,126 times and invented the world’s leading Dyson vacuum cleaner on number 5,127 making him a billionaire.
3.    Focus on what goes well. Get them into the daily habit of saying or writing down three good things that went well that day. Positive thinking is a habit of the mind. Start good habits!
4.    Help children discover and develop their talents, through clubs, groups, and activities. Finding something they are good at and have passion for provides a huge boost to their feelings of self-worth. Everyone deserves someone in their corner cheering them on.

One activity or behavior that a parent can try with their kid at home.

Encouraging your child to start a self-esteem journal can be a terrific way to express feelings. Remember that positive thinking is a habit that needs daily practice to flourish. If they can’t write get them to draw, paint, crayon and tell their feelings to someone they trust. Journaling is a healthy expression of letting feelings flow and can start rich family discussions. Having Family Meetings where real issues can be discussed around some yummy, shared snacks and favorite drinks is a great idea to promote healthy family interactions.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact School Counselor at schoolcounselor@msb.edu.cn