I saw a news report on a study last week that said
girls are starting to worry about their size and appearance as
early as age 5. The study continued by saying this leads to kids
picking up anxieties and developing low self-esteem.
And it's not just young girls. All of our kids are struggling
with messages they hear and see around them, especially in music
and on television. As a child grows with low
self-esteem, it leads to more problems later on in life, like
It can sometimes be easy to tell when a child is struggling with
low self-esteem. While you are teaching, do you have kids who
degrade themselves? Do they not want to participate in activities?
Do they give up quickly during tasks? According to KidsHealth, these may be signs of kids who are
dealing with low-self esteem.
So, what can you do as a leader? Here are five easy ways to
strengthen kids' self-esteem.
- Pat on the back- It's easy to give
your attention to class troublemakers instead of the quiet kids.
Far too often, leaders spend a majority of their time on one or two
disruptive kids. Giving honest compliments to kids will help
improve their self-esteem and give the others examples of what to
- Know names- It's a simple thing.
Just call your kids by their names. I'll admit it, -when I started
teaching, it never occurred to me how important it was to call kids
by name. But, according to pediatrician Dr. William Sears, calling kids by their names
makes them feel special, unique, and important.
- Super Service- Give kids a chance
to prove to themselves that they can make a difference. Help them
take on a service project. Not only does it give them a chance to
show God's love to others, but it also builds confidence in their
- Add Adults- Sad but true, some
kids don't get the love they need at home. Give the kids a chance
to be around positive adult role models. Let them sit in with the
adult choir. Have them pray with the senior class. Encourage
bonding and give the groups time to talk together.
- Watch your words- The worst thing
we can do is hurt a child's self-esteem while they are with us at
church. Laycie Costigan, a friend and fellow Group employee,
recently wrote an amazing article called No Shame On You. In it,
she points out how the way we speak to our kids could embarrass
them or lead them in the wrong way. The article changed the way I
choose my words and how I speak to kids.
Self-esteem is all about feeling loved and being confident in
your own abilities. We can use the Bible to help kids who are
struggling in those two areas. Remind kids that they are loved
(Psalm 36:5), that they were made special (Isaiah 64:8), and that
they can do big things for God (1 Timothy 4:12).