How to Support Children and Young People’s Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem, Ensuring They Have Strategies to Protect Themselves and Make Decisions About Safety

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For children and young people to develop into adults with a high level of self-esteem and confidence they need to be taught life skills that enable them to build resilience, cope with life's challenges and have the capacity to accept constructive criticism and fend off negative comments for what they are without association. They also need to learn how to celebrate successes as well as coping with failure. 6.1, 6.3, 6.4 It is vital that children are shown how to have the confidence to express their feelings and the ability to say no if they do not like the way they are being treated. There will be occassions where adults need to intervene but learning how to cope in challenging situations is vital to their future well being. Giving children a safe, nurturing environment in which they are able to learn how to use the tools required to build resilience is paramount. Strategies such as being able to say no, strategies to calm themselves when they are feeling stressed or anxious, calm areas, a timer, a talk buddy, a sprint, writing in a diary are tools which can assist in this. There are many ways that we can support children's self-confidence. It is important to recognise, praise and reward, in line with school policy, their achievements however small, celebrating even the small successes. Likewise it is just as important to accept that getting things wrong is okay and to understand how we can learn from our mistakes. Circle time is a great tool to learn how to take turns and listen to others, philosophy sessions is an excellent opportunity for children to express themselves without the fear of being wrong, to realise that everyone has their own opinion and that we do not all have to think the same and agree with each other. Children in life need to be able to make informed choices for themselves. Children are taught through the curriculum and assemblies
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