You want healthy and well-adjusted kids, but how do you build up their self-esteem to accomplish this?
Self-esteem is just like building any other skill, it requires practice, consistency, and patience. When it comes to kids, the whole family needs to be involved and to understand that it will be a work in progress. With several self-esteem activities available, the family needs to take a proactive approach and use them, to help kids grow and develop.
Self-esteem development needs to be looked at similar to a sport – you need to be the coach to get the best out of your players. You must realize that the development of a child’s self-esteem will not happen overnight but will be a longer-term process. Looking at the idea of “progress, not perfection” will be helpful in seeing that this will be gradual, and requires a full team effort.
Let’s look at some different activities that can help build self-esteem in kids.
1. Have Your Kids Pack For A Trip
This is a simple, but a great tip for giving a child more of a sense of independence and responsibility – both things that lead to improved self-esteem and confidence. Whether it’s a short overnight trip, or a vacation, giving your child their own packing responsibilities is a great way to help them grow.
They now have something they are in charge of and that they have to be on top of. Your child will gain more of a sense of pride as they decide what they need, and don’t need, for the upcoming trip. You need to be on hand to help with advice if they try to pack 25 swimsuits for a two-day trip but help them use some critical thinking to realize what they’ll truly need.
You can double check things they might have missed and ask if they have everything they need for various activities instead of just saying “you forgot X”.
2. Give Your Child A Specific Chore
This is something the whole family can be involved with and a great self-esteem activity for kids. Devise a plan so it assigns each person in the household a specific chore. This can be connected to a schedule so everyone knows when their chore needs to be done.
This does a few things; it helps the child feel part of a team and that everyone has to chip in their fair share to keep things on track. This also gives them more responsibility. The chore doesn’t have to be overly complicated and can just be to take out the recycling, or water the plants, but you want to make sure you compliment them for accomplishing their chore.
A planned chore will also help give them pride in their environment and surroundings. This increased pride will lead to higher self-esteem.
3. Have Your Child Serve A Snack
If you have a few kids, they can work on this together, but it also works well for individual kids. Help them come up with an idea for a simple snack they can put together and serve. You can help them look online, or watch a YouTube video to see what appeals best to them and help them get set up with everything they need.
This whole activity is a multi-step process, and this helps develop confidence in their cognitive abilities. They must think about what they need, how to put it together, make it look good, and what settings they will need to serve it.
It’s a big open-ended activity that will feel rewarding to kids while building their self-assurance.
4. The Positive Message Game
This is a great self-esteem activity for kids that can involve just a few, or a whole group. You will need some index cards, pencils, and a bowl. Each kid will write their name at the top of the card, fold it, and put it into the bowl.
The bowl will be passed around and each kid will take out a card and write something positive about the person they had selected. They will then fold it and everyone passes their card to the right and you continue this until everyone has written something on all the cards.
Next, you hand back each child’s card to them and have them read out all the positive things that have been written about them. In doing this, you allow each child to feel how valued they are from multiple people. It also creates a great sense of community and each kid will be feeling really great about themselves by the end of this activity.
5. The “All About Me” Collage
There are many great activities that can help develop self-esteem for kids and this one also helps encourage creativity. Again, this can be done with an individual child or a group of kids. You will need to get a bunch of magazines, catalogs or flyers, some poster board, and glue.
The kids will go through and cut out the pictures they feel represent them. It may be sports, music, food, music, careers, animals or anything that stands out to them. This activity encourages some inward reflection and learning what helps shape them.
It will help to show the child their different interests and all the things that make them unique. It will promote self-expression which helps lead to improved self-esteem. If you have a group of kids, they can each take a turn to share all the things they chose that represent who they are.
A child’s self-esteem can be fragile and may take a while to develop. This is where that phrase “it takes a village to raise a child” comes into play. It requires a group effort and contribution from the whole family. Over time, however, these self-esteem activities for kids will help get them on the right path to better growth.