Kids are at a stage where the world’s all sunshine and rainbows. This time, we have to teach them how to weather the storms.
Life is filled with ups and downs, and children are not immune to challenges. Whether it’s academic struggles, social conflicts, or personal setbacks, these experiences can profoundly impact a child’s self-esteem and sense of self. As parents and educators, we should help children develop a strong sense of self-worth.
Children are known to be optimistic despite their age. Young as they are, it might be that certain naivety that comes with being a child. Take them being excited to play in the rain or a puddle, for example. For us grownups, the rainy weather might be a bummer, but not for these youngsters. There’s even a book utilizing that analogy, comparing it to how we should face life’s challenges.
Among the three books about “overcoming,” Timmy the Timid Cloud by Elaine Vanderberg focuses on one’s outlook towards trials. We often forget that after the rain comes the sun, and the book imparts that precious lesson to our kids as they grow and gain that sense of self.
How to Help a Child Regain Their Sense of Self?
Children are at a delicate age where everything seems surreal. There’s so much to learn around them, and they often watch us grownups on how we carry ourselves in life. That’s why these tips are crucial in practice so children will realize that this is how we should face challenges with a better sense of self:
Encouraging Them to Grow
A growth mindset is the belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed through effort and persistence. Allow them to think they can be who they want to be and grow into who they are. Praise their efforts and progress rather than solely focusing on their results. Please encourage them to view challenges as opportunities to improve and learn.
By instilling a growth mindset in the child, they can be more assertive in the face of challenges and are more likely to approach them with a positive outlook.
Teaching Kids to Solve Problems
Equipping children to learn problem-solving skills helps them tackle things logically. Let them know that breaking down problems into smaller, manageable parts can be helpful. Children are also known for having innate wisdom, which gives them the strength to ride through life’s storms. And when they do face these storms, it’s best to be prepared. Such a thing doesn’t have to be grand, but coming up with possible solutions takes a lot of courage to do. Evaluating the pros and cons of each option will result in them making wise decisions.
Nurturing Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is a quality unique to those who are willing to embrace their emotions and healthily process them. It helps us handle challenges and build a strong sense of self. Teach children to identify and understand their feelings and apply them to others. Let them know that open communication about feelings provides everyone a safe space for them to express themselves.
Help them develop empathy, perspective-taking, and positive coping mechanisms. By nurturing emotional intelligence, children will learn early on that it’s okay to be human and feel emotions. Such a method allows them to be better equipped to handle difficult situations.
Creating and Encouraging a Supportive Environment
Creating a supportive environment is essential for a child’s sense of self. Ensure that children feel comfortable discussing their challenges as they seek guidance. Provide unconditional love and support, emphasizing that mistakes and failures are part of the learning process. Please encourage them to surround themselves with positive and supportive peers with similar values.
Part of creating a supportive environment is encouraging children to take calculated risks. Allow children to step out of their comfort zones and try new experiences. Whether participating in a recent activity, presenting in front of a group, or pursuing a passion, supporting healthy risk-taking helps children develop resilience and confidence in their abilities. Celebrate their efforts, regardless of the outcome, and emphasize that mistakes are learning opportunities.
A Strong Sense of Self Imbued in Children
Helping children develop a strong sense of self is a precious gift that will serve them throughout their lives. By nurturing a growth mindset, teaching problem-solving skills, promoting emotional intelligence, and cultivating a supportive environment, we let children face challenges confidently and emerge stronger on the other side. As adults, let us embrace our role in nurturing resilience, guiding them towards a future where challenges do not define them but become stepping stones to growth and success.