Right now we all need to be resilient. With so much going on with Coronavirus, parents, and more importantly our children, need to be robust. They need to be resilient so that their self-esteem and confidence stays high. They will be challenged by the school work they are doing and with their friendships. Both of these can and may lower their self-esteem.
So what can we do to keep self-esteem high? Well parents need to teach them to have faith in the friendships that they have and have confidence in the work they are doing. As I wrote in an earlier post it is important for children (depending on their age) to keep up with their friends. When reaching out to their friends they may not get a response straight away. They must not read too much into it if they don’t respond to them within 5 minutes or an hour or two. Their friend may be out for a walk or doing a family activity, playing in the garden, baking etc. You just don’t know.
Raising Self-Esteem to Boost Resilience
Can parents communicate this to our children so they don’t worry about their friendships now, and when they return to school? They need to have confidence in the friendships they have and believe their friendships will survive. In other words, look for the evidence that their friendships are strong and that they are a good friend!
In terms of the work, our children need to ask for help when stuck. If they feel they don’t understand the work or aren’t coping they will doubt their ability – reducing self-esteem. With no peer learning in place, children need to ask for help – either you, an older sibling, their friends or by asking their teacher via email. Speaking to friends, they may just realise that everyone else is struggling too!
Just because the work seems hard, or they don’t understand what they need to do, it does not mean they aren’t capable of doing it – it does not make them thick or stupid. Work set by email is not the same as having a teacher standing at the front of a classroom where you have an opportunity to ask questions and get help. Your children will find the work challenging at times but they need to celebrate each bit of work they finish and do well.
Friendships and schoolwork are a huge part of children’s lives so if can boost their self-esteem in these areas they will naturally find themselves feeling more resilient. These are challenging times for us all but just taking some time to discuss any issues will help children (and parents) to feel more positive about them.