High self-esteem can set the stage for happiness and success in a child's life while low self-esteem can lead to problems in school and self-doubt. Try some of these activities for building self-esteem and confidence in your child.
"About Me" Collage
This activity is a good way to focus a child's attention on those characteristics that make her special. You will need poster board, scissors, glue, photographs and old magazines. Have the child think for a moment about good aspects of her life and personality or hopes and dreams she has. The child should then find words or pictures from magazines or photos to symbolise those things. Glue these to the poster board to make a collage. The child can draw things on the poster or add glitter glue, pipe-cleaners, clip art or anything else available. Anything the child places on the collage should focus solely on her positive traits. When it is finished, have the child explain what each thing on the poster represents and then hang it in a place where it will be seen every day. This will be a positive reminder of all the things that make the child special and unique and the reasons why the child should feel good about herself.
Letter to Myself
This is another activity that can help put children more in touch with their feelings about themselves and who they are. All you will need is a pencil and some paper. Have the child write a self-addressed letter. No one should read this letter except for the child. This is to ensure that the child can be as open and honest as possible in the letter. The letter should include happy experiences the child has had in the last year, discoveries the child has made about himself, and/or things the child would like to accomplish or any goals he has. The letter can then be put aside and the child can read it later in his life as a reminder of who he was and how he has changed.
This activity involves the child drawing a picture of herself. You will need a mirror, paper and crayons, markers or coloured pencils. Have the child draw a self-portrait, using a mirror as a reference. The picture does not have to be exact, a stick figure will work just as well as a detailed portrait. It should be fairly large as the child will label it when it is finished.
When the picture is finished, have her point out good qualities she possesses and label them on the portrait. For example, if a child wants to say that she has a big heart, write this next to the portrait and draw a line going to the chest. Other positive qualities can be written around the perimeter of the picture. Hang this where the child can look at it daily and reflect on her positive qualities.