Self-esteem includes all of the beliefs a person has about himself. A child’s self esteem plays a role in how he approaches life and deals with various situations. Developing a child’s self esteem allows him to deal with conflict, resist peer pressure, see life realistically and stay optimistic.
A journal helps a child process his feelings and beliefs about himself in a private location. Encourage the children to write about particular events and how those events made them feel. Another option is to give the children journal prompts that deal directly with self esteem. Ideas include their favorite qualities about themselves, things that make them feel good, situations when they felt embarrassed, talents or what makes them a good friend. Give the kids the option to share the journal entries or keep them private.
A self portrait gives a child the chance to express how she feels about herself in a creative format. Instead of a regular self portrait, have the kids fold the paper in half vertically. On one half, the kids draw a self portrait of how they see themselves. On the other half, the kids draw the self portrait how they think others see them. This activity can reveal some self esteem issues in the children, depending on how they draw themselves. The activity gives you a chance to open a discussion about self esteem and finding positive qualities in yourself.
This activity focuses on the special qualities that make up a person. The kids each write down 10 personal traits they exhibit. Each trait goes on a different strip of paper. The kids rank the qualities from most important to least important. Ask the kids to take away one of the traits, then discuss how eliminating that trait would make them different. Continue having the kids pick traits to eliminate until they’ve given up six or seven of the traits. Discuss what they have left and what type of person they would be without all of the traits they’ve eliminated. Have the kids return all of the traits to the pile.
A poster offers another artistic way for kids to demonstrate their self esteem. The kids draw or make a collage to depict themselves. Encourage the kids to focus on the positive traits and talents they have to share. A background shaped like a person adds a creative touch to the self esteem poster. For a custom outline, trace each child an a piece of butcher paper and let the kids draw the designs inside.