Will they fit in, grow up, succeed at school, find a friend, have a meaningful relationship, be able to let others win... The list of worries for parents of forceful kids is endless.
|Building Self Esteem Children Activities|
Especially since the terrorist attacks of 2001, I have observed an increase in anxiety among young people. This has been demonstrated by their reluctance to try out unknown activities, to risk meeting new friends, and to have a go at school in areas where they might fail.
For bright kids to thrive in life, they need to play to their strengths. One of those strengths is boldness. Being bold, clear, and direct when you live in cautious and anxious times is one avenue towards success. Use the great leadership traits of your bright kid to give him an advantage.
This new wave of anxiety that besets much of the Western world is exacerbated by a perception that success is a limited commodity. If you begin to subscribe to this point of view, this fear becomes contagious as you go into "overload." Your bright kid may begin to believe that success is unattainable.
For parents of bright kids, there is often much else to worry about. These kids often don't get the best school reports, aren't the easiest to settle, aren't always on their best behavior when you want them to be, and aren't always the most popular with other adults.
Believe in your bright kid. He has the drive and the get-up-and-go to change the world if he wants to.
Some bright kids have a great talent for bringing out the worst in some people. As a result, their self-esteem can take a bit of a battering. Others build strong self-esteem on flimsy grounds: the Competitors do this by being the best, the Manipulators by impressing adults, and the Negotiators by outwitting others.
Parents of bright kids need to develop their children's self-esteem. The person you speak most to is yourself, so help bright kids to think positively about their lives. One way of doing this is to introduce into your family the concept of "dolphin" and "shark" thoughts. "Dolphin" thoughts are those thoughts that are helpful, while "shark" thoughts can eat you up. When" you catch bright kids expressing shark thoughts, stop them and make them tell you several dolphin thoughts as well.
Go on a treasure hunt!
Go on a search to find the talents, skills, contributions, abilities, and interests that your bright kid has. Ask her about them. Make much of them. Praise them.
Families that work well seem to praise one another a lot. Compliments are given, positive efforts are commented on. Optimism is in the air. But even in these families, bright kids still shrug and say, "Yeah Mom" or "Yeah Dad" when they receive a compliment.
Teaching the skills of self-praise is very useful. One way of doing this is to ask questions about any achievement or accomplishment, such as:
- "How did you do that?"
- "How come you did so well at that test?"
- "What did you do?" and
- "Have you been doing homework behind my back?"
When all of the praise comes from you, they can easily dismiss it. But when they have to explain their own achievements, they must do so in their own words - and when they do so in their own words, they own the praise and become fully aware of it.
These skills are also important for performance at school. High self-esteem students attribute their successes to their own efforts, while those who are not resilient often attribute their successes to luck or chance. Because of their sometimes highly competitive natures - especially the Debaters ("Maggies"), the Manipulators ("Angelicas"),and the Competitors ( "Winstons") - these children often denigrate the successes they do have. To find out more, you can check out Building Self Esteem Children Activities.