“How to Inspire your STUDENTS to develop Healthy Self Esteem”
What it Self Esteem according to Emotional Intelligence and how you can help you child to develop it in a healthy, well balanced way?
An Emotionally Intelligent child with a Healthy Self Esteem has and develops the following qualities & values, always according to his/her DEVELOPMENTAL AGE/ PHASE :
-The child has an ability to develop his/ her cognitive ability, according to his/her UNIQUE POTENTIAL and developmental age.
– The child develops the ability and will to EXPRESS and HANDLE True Emotions and eventually develops the ability to COMMUNICATE and COLLABORATE with his/her environment .
-The child develops the ability to develop Self control & is able to start Protecting himself from External Dangers. Also the child stars to “listen” and “takes into consideration” the opinions, suggestions of parents, and other important caretakers.
-The child develops the ability to make CHOICES according to his developmental age & maturity level.
-The child develops EMPATHY, the important ability to connect and be compassionate for others and with others.
-The child starts to be able resolve Conflict effectively and small everyday problems.
-The child starts to set Healthy Limits & Boundaries in his every day life, being influenced/ inspired by the advice, support, and example of parents or other important relatives, caretakers, teachers etc.
-The child starts to be able to adopt Responsibilities, smaller at the beginning and later more serious according to their developmental age and maturity level.
-The child is able to build slowly Self Awareness and Acceptance of Self and Others as they are, with strengths and weaknesses.
The child develops the ability to accept his Self and others for their own Unique Potential, & allow them to develop in their own unique way and pace.
In order to be able to INSPIRE your STUDENTS/ CHILDREN qualities that will help them in their Healthy Self Esteem, teachers / parents should provide an EXAMPLE of Behaviour, Conduct and Lifestyle.
Their teaching STYLE should follow important principles and Values.
The values of Empathy, Respect, Communication, Collaboration, Responsibility, they want to inspire and teach their children, they should follow first through their life’s example.
“ Our Students/ Children Do what we Do, not just what we say!!!!!!!”.
As a result if teachers/ parents want to help their students/children develop a Healthy Self esteem they should:
- Become aware of their students/children’s Emotions and Emotional Style. Parents can do that by OBSERVING their children and their unique way of expression, by spending QUALITY TIME with them while sharing with them different activities, by LISTENING what their children need to express and share, (emotions, dilemmas, thoughts, fears, dreams) and by TALKING to them with patience, care, attention and love, ( Quality Communication )
- Recognize their students/children’s Emotional Response, positive or negative, as an opportunity for Intimacy, Communication, Teaching, Growth , & Development.
- Listen to their students/ children more Empathically , BE THERE FOR THEM IN EVERY POSSIBLE WAY!!!!
- Validate their children’s Feelings, Thoughts, Ideas, Dreams, Dilemmas, even if they are different from their own. Allow them to have their OWN dreams, ideas, personalities. Let them Become their OWN Person!!!!! Honor their Uniqueness and their own unique Potential as this is expressed.
- Help your students/children to find different Expressive Ways to cultivate their ideas, dreams, needs, emotions, (not through words only but also through the help of arts, sports, nature, activities, games, etc.)
- Inspire your students/ children to set Limits / Boundaries in all areas of their personal, interpersonal, academic lives and at the same time help them to Explore strategies to solve every day problems in an effective and efficient
How to inspire to your students/ children the Values of good Communication & Cooperation?
On what Values ‘Good Communication’ is based according to Emotional Intelligence?
On Values such as: Care, love, interest, happiness, patience, persistence, flexibility, healthy development and exchange, balance……
Good Communication between teachers/ parents & children includes first LISTEN to your child, REFRASE and Summarize in simple, clear words what you’ve heard and then TALK & SHARE thoughts and emotions through WORDS.
Communication is Not only oral but is based on verbal and nonverbal exchange of emotions, feelings, ideas, dreams, hopes…….,
It includes EXCHANGE & SHARING activities, emotional gestures, exchange of energies, physical activities, games, sharing actions we enjoy together with or without the use of words, such as art, music , dance, sports, hobbies, nature etc
Habits we should develop in order to inspire our students/children the value of Good Communication:
-To create the values communication and cooperation in your students/children and inspire them, ASK, DON’T ORDER (Please, Can you fix your room?…., Please don’t hurt your brother…..etc).Of course when we are faced with a situation that is related to our child’s security, safety, or important family rules or there is restriction of time, space, danger etc, we should use a calm, firm voice in order to communicate to the child our direct instructions, ( Careful you will fall…., Don’t run in the middle of the road…etc)
-To minimize resistance and improve Communication, LISTEN & NURTURE, DON’T FIX.( Inspire the child to do certain things that is their responsibility and NOT DO IT for them)
-To increase motivations, REWARD, DON’T PUNISH. Emphasize at the Positive, make positive comments for the good not always shout for the mistakes.
-To assert the value of Leadership & Responsibility, COMMAND, DON’T DEMAND, ( Let’s do this….., not DO this).
-To maintain control GIVE TIME OUTS, ( in order to get them an opportunity to think about and reflect on their actions and what they could have done differently,) DON’T SPANK.
Steps to improve Communication with your children
–Be OPEN to your student/ child & his needs and dilemmas, emotional, academic, personal, inter personal.
-BE AWARE of your student/ child’s emotions and emotional state. RECOGNIZE the Emotions as an Opportunity for Intimacy and Teaching.
-Be ‘THERE’ for your student/child, Be AVAILABLE, try to Create Quality time to share with the child.
Before you talk and advice, LISTEN EMPATHETICALLY to your child, ideas, dilemmas, questions, ideas, dreams…. VALIDATE the child’s feelings, and then try To ANSWER him/her by keeping in mind his/her developmental age, his/ her specific needs, his/ her emotional style, the goal you need to achieve each time. Develop the ability of a Healthy Dialogue and Exchange of Ideas with your child that will help him develop his/her critical mind, responsibility and freedom of expression, Healthy Self Identity and Self Esteem.
-TALK & SHARE with your student/ child, EXCHANGE ideas, opinions, suggestions. Try to suggest, not to impose or dictate. Help your child develop his/her identity, personality and critical ability.
-HELP your student/ child VERBALLY to label his/ her emotions. (I can see you are upset, do you want to talk abut it?….).Make them aware of their body posture, their aggression, their tightness…, & help them to start recognize them and to find the right words to express them, because it is very important for them to be able to express their feelings, to channel energy and develop Self Awareness and Self Knowledge.
–Try to UNDERSTAND & INTERPRET your student/child’s Resistance, and Reaction, according to his developmental age and needs, sometimes as a developmental tool for personality growth that needs limits and boundaries but at the same time is NATURAL and HEALTHY.
Why students/ children Resist?
-a) Very often students/children resist, according to their developmental age and phase, because they grow up and it is a normal step in their normal developmental procedure to become their ‘own person’ and to resist the ‘authority’ of the parent. A Natural Developmental Phase.
-b)Very often they resist in order to ‘force’, to ‘request’ to the teacher/ parent to set them Healthy Boundaries and put them Logical Limits that are extremely important for their healthy emotional development. Only through this way they can learn Responsibility, Self discipline, Healthy Sharing and Exchange of emotions and Sharing material things and they get prepared for future growth and entry to the society. This is how their Socialization Process starts.
-c) Other times they resist simply because they don’t feel heard or seen or even respected. This is an important sign for teachers/ parents to realize and try to find out what is the message, conscious or unconscious that the child needs to give them. Very often children because they don’t have yet developed the appropriate verbal, emotional, or social skills, don’t know how to express emotional frustrations, desires and needs. As a result they show their frustration through actions, or even Re- actions that can be inappropriate even aggressive at times but for them is they the only way they know to channel some energy, express themselves and make sure that they are heard.
Parents should try to become aware and understand what is behind our children’s Resistance.
d) We have to ‘investigate’ what EMOTIONS are hidden behind their reaction: Most of the times first is ANGER, then is SADNESS and finally is FEAR .
–We have to be able to see these emotions and help ourstudent/ child to express them, even not specifically because they are lacking the cognitive ability, but even to elaborate on them, to express himself / herself. To help them not to block their emotions inside but to find other, alternative, effective ways to channel their emotional energy effectively and efficiently
-e) We should suggest other ways to our students/ children during a discussion time when they are NOT highly aggravated or tense or tired or frustrated, but during a different time when they are more relaxed and we can sit with them and exchange emotions and ideas in a calm, more relaxed way , where we can both be open for communication in a more effective manner.
Other SUGGESTIONS about what Teachers/Parents can do?
-A) Teachers/ Parents should try to inspire their children with their own life’s example, by ‘being there’ for their children and dedicate QUALITY TIME to actively listen and to talk to them. Parents should be flexible and UPDATE their Parenting skills according to the needs of their different children, having in mind that each child is different with different needs and potential.
-B)Teachers/Parents should try to set boundaries and limits in their children’s lives in order to help them to develop their Critical Mind, to help them to develop Problem Solving Techniques by giving them Options and Choices according to their developmental age. In this way they can help their children develop the qualities of Free Will, Freedom of Choice, Responsibilities, Critical Mind, Healthy Self esteem and Maturity.
-C) Proposals for Problem Solving Techniques that will improve communication
– Try with your student/ child to identify the problem, the emotions and reactions that are caused by it.
– Try to identify goals and what the child would like to achieve by solving the specific problem.
– Try to think with the child possible solutions and scenarios.
– Try to evaluate proposed solutions based on family values and child’s individual values.
– Help the student/ child choose a solution that suits his/ her personality, make a good decision and plan an action plan. It has to be his/her solution, decision, action.
– After he/she follows the action and has a result, try to discuss with him/her the Outcome, see together what worked and what didn’t and why. Use the whole event as an opportunity for development, learning and connection.
-D)Another important point we should mention is that teachers/Parents should inspire their students/ children to Delay Gratification of their emotional and material needs, one of the most important principles of Emotional Intelligence and Maturity. The child and later individual that is able to wait for his/ her desires and needs to be satisfied at the appropriate time and under the appropriate conditions, is a mature individual that is able to control himself, to develop patience, responsibility and emotional intelligence. We are preparing our children to become well balanced, mature individuals that can satisfy their needs and express their desires but can wait for the appropriate time, after the appropriate effort and under the appropriate conditions.
-1) Avoid excessive criticism, Humiliating Comments or Mocking your student/ child. Children don’t learn with these. They need Reinforcement and Positive, Creative Criticism.
-2) Avoid to compare your student/ child with other children, even with his/her own brothers and sisters, instead try to coach, advise and praise your child for his/her own abilities and accomplishments.
-3) Try to Ignore your parental and personal Agenda, with your own dreams, expectation and needs for your child and allow him/her to discover, have and develop his/ her own agenda and personality.
-4) Try to create a Mental Map of your student/ child’s Daily Life. This mental map is the child’s everyday life, his schedule, his friends, his teachers, his courses, the important places. It is his/ her world. It is very important for you to know about it and be able to share the child’s feelings, agonies, thoughts, plans etc of this world. This is very important because it will help you to know where ‘your student/child is’ at this particular period of his/her life and development.
-5) Try to communicate Understanding and Empathy to your teacher/ child about his every day problems and not over criticize your child. During conflicts try to help the child with Honesty, Open-Mindedness and Encouragement to express feelings and examine different scenarios.
-6) Think about your child’s experiences in terms of similar Adult situations of your everyday life and give them examples of your everyday life and how you manage to solve conflict or face a difficult situation. Try to become an active example of action and behaviour for your children.
-7) Don’t try to impose your solutions on your child’s problems. Help him/her to find his /her OWN with your guidance, support and help. This will help the child’s Self development, Self esteem and Self confidence.
-8) Empower your student/ child by providing Choices and Respecting his/her wishes and needs, EVEN IF THEY ARE DIFFERENT From YOURS.
-9) Share your student/child’s dreams, ambitions, even fantasies. Help and inspire him/ her to create some together.
-10) BE HONEST with your student/child.
-11)Spend time with your student/child and share the activities he/she enjoys TOGETHER, like literature, games, sports, visits, art etc
-12) Believe in the Positive Nature of your student/child and of Human Development. Think POSITIVE and Inspire your student/ child to become a Positive, Optimistic Thinker.