My needs do matter, helping children develop self- worth

As promised here is another extract from my book….

A child’s sense of self-worth is deeply affected by their confidence and self-esteem. For children who have a poor sense of self, the school day can be made up of regular experiences that can erode this even further. However, there are also frequent opportunities to enhance this and ensure that it is developed to maximise the child’s full potential. A child with confidence and self-esteem is keen to try new things, may offer to have a lead part in the class assembly and has the

ability to develop and maintain good relationships with adults and children alike. They are able to express feelings such as excitement and fear with equal confidence. They have learned to trust the adults in their lives to care for and support them and therefore have the ability to do this for other people. They may believe they are essentially good and likeable and experience other people as the same.

However, some children’s experiences have resulted in them having a very different sense of themselves. They experience the world as a frightening and unsafe place where it is better not to try new things in case you fail or make a mistake. They have discovered that some adults are unpredictable and that things change frequently and therefore nothing can be relied on. They have learned that feelings are to be feared and kept to yourself as they can overwhelm you and make things even more frightening. A child with low self-esteem who lacks confidence may present as

being unsure of themselves at school. They may resist or find excuses not to try new things and may find it hard to express and manage their feelings. They may believe they are essentially bad and unlikeable and experience other people as better than them and more deserving.

To help the child with this try to provide opportunities to make choices wherever possible throughout the day, no matter how small; for example, writing with a pen or a pencil so they feel they have a voice and their opinions are important.

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