Students at Adel Elementary are currently learning about self-esteem in guidance lessons and how to build healthy self-esteem. Self-esteem building contributes to student’s Self-Awareness and is an important social skill in the Iowa Social-Emotional Learning Competencies. Having a high self-esteem is an important social skill for kids because it gives them the confidence to recognize things they are good at and encourages them to try new things too. Self-esteem helps kids recognize feelings of pride and also helps them cope with mistakes. At school, students are making a list of things they are good at and then talking about something new they might like to try!

How parents can help build self-esteem:
When kids are learning a new skill, model what it looks like and help them at first, then as they become more confident, encourage independence and give praise to build feelings of pride.  Be careful with harsh criticism and instead tell them how brave they were for trying something new and offer your help if they would like it along the way. For example, if your child is playing on a basketball team for the first time you may help them attend practices, rebound for them after practice to build confidence, encourage them that they are improving or being a great teammate and take pictures of them to build pride.  If they are discouraged by mistakes, listen and offer suggestions and your help, but don’t be overly critical.  Share that you love to watch them play and then give them some independence to decide if they feel this is a strength of theirs or if they want to try something else instead.