HAPPY LESSONS 2 - DEVELOPING SELF ESTEEM

HAPPY LESSON 2 - DEVELOPING SELF ESTEEM


INTRODUCTION

For those of you who did not read Happy Lessons Part 1, here is a quick introduction. Up until 6 months ago I was a Primary School Teacher and Key Stage One Leader. However due to chronic ill health I could no longer follow my passion. I then realised there are lots of different learning platforms out there and decided to write a blog. I hope through this medium I can keep teaching and give parents a personal toolbox to help their children reach their full potential and be happy individuals.

DEVELOPING SELF ESTEEM
When dealing with young children it is very important to see making mistakes as part of allowing them to develop their problem solving skills rather than something to be continually corrected. If you do everything for your child because they might not get it right, you deny them the opportunity to achieve and take pride in their successes. If you instill an attitude of “I can’t do it yet! rather than “I can’t do it!” your child will be motivated to continue to try until they have succeeded. You need to resist the urge to always step in.

Experimentation is a vital part of learning and develops conceptual understanding rather than just mimicking.

RESILIENCE
The skills that your child develops from'trying and failing and trying again' will be invaluable. I appreciate many parents step in because of time restraints but if you could start things just a little earlier to allow your children to have a good go at it, you would soon see the benefits. A lot of children consistently whine because they want something done, they do not believe they can do it and they feel that you are not doing it fast enough. If your child feels confident to have a go, they don’t whine, instead they solve the problem themselves, which is a good result for all those involved.

VALUED AND UNDERSTOOD
Just like adults, children need to feel that you are interested in them and what is important to them is just as important to you. Many of the insights into your child’s individuality will be through their creative play; whether it be model making, small world play (model people, houses, cars, animals etc.), painting or drawing. How these first steps are handled will have a profound effect on your child. When your child first creates a picture (probably around 2 years old) they will have a vision in their head of what they are drawing/painting and to them that vision will be clear for all to see. Unfortunately it will probably appear as a scribble to you. There are 2 classic responses; “oh that’s lovely” or “what is it darling” but both of these responses can cause problems. 
The first response is positive but rather dismissive, it does not show much interest in your child’s world. The second response confuses your child: why is it not as obvious to you, as it is to your child - have they not drawn it properly? However, open questions such as “tell me all about it” show an interest in what is important to your child, develops oracy skills and creates feelings of pride. Your child will now feel that they have created something you can enjoy together. Simple changes can make a huge difference to your child’s self-esteem.


BUILD IN SUCCESS
All of us enjoy that feeling of success when we meet and conquer personal challenges. Young children also need to be set targets, so that they can get this feeling of success and fulfillment. However these targets need to be SMART (Small, Measurable and Realistic Targets). You will know your child best, but initially set your child targets with built in success (something you know they can already do), then gradually add in another task that is just a little harder. The initial success will encourage them to master the new challenge.


The confidence they get from mastering challenges and seeing themselves as a success will in turn bring further successes. Half the battle to achieving anything in life is believing that you can and not being afraid to try or make mistakes.

GETTING IT WRONG HELPS US GET IT RIGHT IN THE END
Some of the most remarkable successes in my classroom have been because I created an environment when failing to get it right the first time was just part of the learning process and nothing to worry about. Despite their individual ability all the children in my class believed they could succeed and therefore tried their very hardest to get there. For each child the final results were different. However all the children in my care felt they had achieved their personal best and were therefore proud of themselves and keen to go on learning and achieving! 

HOPE YOU FOUND THIS USEFUL,PLEASE FOLLOW ME IF YOU DID!

Rebecca 

Next week - Happy Lesson 3  - Developing Oracy Skills

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