Posts Tagged ‘Self-Esteem’

Sousa’s Techniques to Build Self-Esteem

July 15, 2014

Courtesy of


I agree with nearly all these tips, especially the first one which is absolutely crucial from my experience. However, I do not advise teachers to shake their students’ hands. It is not appropriate and I would recommend teachers should desist from doing it.


Click on the link to read Why I Believe Classrooms Should Be Fitted With Video Cameras

Click on the link to read Are We Doing Enough to Make Our Children Happy?

Click on the link to read Why Getting Our Kids to Toughen Up is a Flawed Theory
Click on the link to read  Stop Pretending and Start Acting!

Click on the link to read  Some Principals Seem to Be Ignorant About Bullying

Click on the link to read Teaching Kids to be Competitive Often Leads to Needless Pain

Tips for Dealing With Negative Feedback

March 20, 2014



Nobody likes being criticised and some negative comments hits very hard. We have all struggled to rebound from scathing criticism in the post, so it’s good to have sites like to refer to when trying to manage such a situation:

  • One major way to deal with judgements is to remember that it is not necessarily a definition of who you are as a person; such opinions do not define you as a person, but are there as a snapshot of the work you do, and if managed carefully, a way for you to improve the way you teach.
  • Remember how such judgements make you feel, and consider this when making judgements yourself (to pupils and/or colleagues) – don’t be the hater. Don’t be the person who tears down someone else’s hard work. The world needs more people who contribute their gifts and share their work and ideas. Working up the courage to do that can be tough. Support the people who display that courage.
  • If you’re dealing with criticism, then don’t let the wall keep you from seeing the road. Focus on the path ahead. For example, when planning a trip, you may explore the online reviews from other travellers. Rationally, you will ignore the top and bottom 10% of the reviews and focus on those in the middle – they are the ones you pay attention to – consider this with the you receive.
  • If you choose to respond to the haters, then surprise them with kindness. You might just win a new fan while you’re at it.
  • Finally, and most importantly, make the choices that are right for you. People will criticise you either way – It’s human nature.
  • Be aware of Passive Aggressive behaviours. They can be destructive.


Click on the link to read Guess What Percentage of Teachers Considered Quitting this Year

Click on the link to read The Classroom Shouldn’t be a War Zone for Our Teachers

Click on the link to read Remember When Teachers Were Shown Respect? (Video)

Click on the link to read If You Think Teaching is so Easy You Should Try it for Yourself

Click on the link to read Teachers are Extremely Vulnerable to False Accusations

What is the Difference Between Over-Praising Children and Lying to Them?

January 8, 2014



Over-praising children is tantamount to lying to them. If a teacher or parent needs to resort to embellishment then they have misread the child.

Developing trust is absolutely not negotiable when it comes to children. Once you are caught out on a lie or exaggeration you stand to lose the trust of the child, rendering everything else you say as meaningless.

But over-praising isn’t just lying, it is lazy. Every child has unique and interesting aspects to their personality. Every child possesses skills and praiseworthy character traits. If you find yourself over-praising your student, it means that you haven’t yet fully appreciated the child for who he/she is.

One can only love ones self if one understands themself. Self-confidence can only be attained once the person is in tune with his/her true abilities. That’s why genuine praise is so profoundly important. By reminding children of their legitimate positive aspects and traits, you will help them get in touch with who they are and what they can be.  If you lie to them, sooner or later they will work it out and may choose to dismiss or neglect their greatest qualities as a result.

Some would say if you haven’t got anything authentic to say, don’t say anything at all. I say, don’t stop until you have something real to praise a child with.

And then keep on supporting that child to the best of your abilities. They are worth it!



Click on the link to read The Skills Kids Can Learn from Traditional Board Games

Click on the link to read Our Impressionable Children are Desperately Looking for Positive Rolemodels

Click on the link to read The Plus Sized Barbie Debate Misses the Point

Click on the link to read Study Claims that Being Attractive can give you Better Grades

Click on the link to read The Unique Challenges that Body Image Represents for Females

Who is Going to Do Something About Cyberbullying?

October 3, 2013


Cyberbullying continues to grow, even considering the increased public awareness of the problem. This is simply not good enough.

For too long schools have been avoiding the issue, claiming that what is done outside of their gates is not within their domain – Wrong!

Parents have all too often decided to ignore whether or not their children are of age to use social media and whether they are using these sites responsibly – Wrong!

Bystanders, aware of Facebook hate sites have often decided to stay out of a potential conflict and have either opted to sit on their hands or worse, tacitly encourage the bullying – Wrong!

Facebook claim they are working overtime to ensure that cyberbullies are not rampant on their site – Wrong!

When are the stakeholders and custodians of this problem going to take their collective blindfolds off and start fixing this terrible form of bullying?

More than a million young people are subjected to ‘extreme cyberbullying’ every day, according to the largest ever survey into online abuse.

The report found young people are twice as likely to be bullied on Facebook than any other social network.

Experts say cyberbullying can have a ‘catastrophic’ impact on self-esteem and have called for parents and regulators to recognise the seriousness of the issue.

Liam Hackett, founder of national anti-bullying charity, Ditch The Label, which produced the report, said many people assume cyberbullying is not as hurtful as face-to-face abuse.

But he said it can be even more distressing because it is more public.

The survey of 10,000 13 to 22-year-olds found that levels of cyberbullying were much higher than previously reported.

It found that 70 per cent of youngsters had experienced cyberbullying and one in five said it had been ‘extreme’.

Of those surveyed, almost 40 per cent said they were bullied online frequently.

Mr Hackett said: ‘I think there’s a tendency for older people to think that cyberbullying is a lesser form of bullying because there is this idea you can delete a comment or you can block it and it’s gone.

‘But actually, we have seen that content becomes viral very quickly and when comments are put out on a public platform it can be more distressing for the victim because a lot of people are exposed to this content, so it’s incredibly harmful.’

Facebook, and Twitter were found to be the most likely sources of cyberbullying, and 54 per cent of Facebook users reported cyberbullying on the network, the survey said.

Click on the link to read Engaging in Gossiping Isn’t as Pleasurable as it Seems

Click on the link to read The Explosion of Online Bullying

Click on the link to read The Researchers into Cyberbullying Should Review Their Findings

Click on the link to read The Use of Facebook in Cyberbullying Activity

Click on the link to read A Positive Approach to Tackling Cyberbullying

Seven Valuable Tips for Raising Your Child’s Self-Esteem

July 7, 2013



Courtesy of

  1. Remember that we all make mistakes. It is important to remember that no one is perfect. Demanding perfection from your children causes them to be anxious and depressed. They feel like they will never be good enough. Start a new rule in your home: it is more important to try to be good enough, than to try and then feel badly about not being perfect.
  2. Pay attention to what you say. Pay attention to what you say to yourself around your children. The negative things you say about yourself will be remembered by your children, and your children may in turn repeat that about themselves. Always talk to yourself nicely when your children are around. (Talk nicely to yourself when they aren’t around, too.)
  3. Teach respect. Treat your children and your spouse with respect. That doesn’t mean you give in to them, it means you don’t interrupt when they are talking and you listen attentively. Address them lovingly. No matter how old your child is, he needs to be talked to respectfully.
  4. Hug your child. Affection tells your child you love him, and he is worthy of love. Remember, teens need as much if not more hugs than small children do.
  5. Keep your promises. Parents who are never on time or change plans constantly raise children who don’t trust. If you cannot trust others, you cannot feel good about yourself. If you grew up in a home where no one followed through, change that for your child.
  6. Give your child responsibility. Parents must give chores and follow through with consequences if they aren’t done. This teaches your child he is part of the family and his work is necessary to help the family. Parents who don’t give their children chores raise kids who think they really don’t matter to the family. This leads to disengagement of the family.
  7. Show interest in your child’s interests. Any interest your child expresses is an opportunity to raise her self-esteem. Talk to her in regards to her interest. Listen to her. Buy her books, take her to appropriate museums, or join a group with other people who share that interest. When you show interest in your child’s interest, you make your child feel valued and important. This encourages her to be more curious. Children with healthy self-esteem are more curious because they aren’t afraid to take risks. They believe they will not fail and if they do they will be okay.



Click on the link to read Top Ten Compliments Your Children Need to Hear

Click on the link to read Tips For Parents of Kids Who “Hate School”

Click on the link to read 20 Reassuring Things Every Parent Should Hear

Click on the link to read Parents and Teachers Should Not Be Facebook Friends

Self-Esteem Crisis Even More Serious than the Obesity Crisis

December 9, 2012



The focus on our obesity issues are becoming less interested in helping develop a healthier and fitter society and instead seem slanted towards shaming and belittling people who are struggling because of their weight issues.

This issue will not be properly addressed through stigmas and assumptions.

This shocking story is a case in point:

After a nice meal out, you might expect the check to hurt your wallet.

But you don’t expect it to hurt your feelings.

However, that’s exactly what happened to three California women on Thursday night, when their receipt came with the words ‘Fat Girls’ written across the top.

Christine Duran, Christina Huerta and Isabel Robles were having a good time at the Cameo Club Casino restaurant in Stockton but when they asked for the check they couldn’t believe their eyes.

‘I got the bill, and I was like, why does the receipt say, “fat girls?”‘ Duran told News 10.

She said her pals thought she was joking at first.

‘I was laughing at her, and she was like, “I’m serious.” I’m like, “No, it does not say fat girls, let me see it,”‘ Huerta said.

Duran showed the receipt to her friends who finally believed her.

‘I’m looking at it. I was like, “Oh, heck no,”‘ Robles said.

The ladies quizzed their waiter when he returned to their table but he denied any involvement.

He said that Jeff, whose name was on the receipt, must have typed the offensive slur into the computer as he was taking their order. But he said Jeff had gone for the night.

The three women, upset and outraged, demanded to see a manager.

‘He had a smirk on his face, like it was funny, but he was trying not to laugh,’ Huerta said, describing the manager.

The manager told the women he was sorry for what happened and offered to discount their bill by 25 per cent. But the ladies were unimpressed by the offer.

‘He was like, “Well, I can do 50 per cent,” and we were just like, “Are you serious?”‘ Huerta said.


Teaching the Student with Low Self Esteem

October 7, 2012

Courtesy of Dr. Ken Shore:

Praise the student in a specific and genuine way.Students are experts at distinguishing genuine feedback from empty compliments. They learn to dismiss vague words of praise as insincere, and perhaps even phony. Comments that suggest thoughtful appreciation of their work, on the other hand, are meaningful to them. Toward that end, let the student know in specific terms what you like about her work or behavior. If she is progressing slowly, praise her for small steps forward. If you sense that she’s uncomfortable being praised in front of her classmates, tell her in private or in a note.

Show the student tangible evidence of progress. Expressing confidence in a student’s ability is important; pep talks alone might not be enough, however. Help the student appreciate her own improvement by pointing to concrete signs of growth — perhaps by taping an oral reading at the beginning of the year and comparing it to a later performance, by showing her papers from earlier in the year and contrasting them with later papers, or by demonstrating that the math problems she struggled with during the first marking period now come easily to her. You might also have the student place in a box index cards with spelling or reading words she has mastered.

Showcase her accomplishments. You might read one of the student’s compositions to the class, display her artwork on a bulletin board, have her demonstrate how to do a math problem, or, in the case of an ESL student, invite her to speak to the class in her first language. If the student has a particular hobby or interest, suggest that she talk to the class about it. If necessary, have her rehearse her talk in advance.

Help the student feel important in class. You might give the student an important classroom job or find ways in which she can help others. Tell her you are giving her the responsibility because you are confident she can do it well. For example: have the student take care of the class rabbit, deliver lunch money to the office, collect homework, help another student with a computer problem, read aloud the school’s morning announcements, answer the school phone while the secretary is at lunch, or tutor a student in a lower grade.

Engage the student in conversation about her interests. A student can gain self-esteem from involvement in activities she cares about. Find a few minutes every day to talk with her about her favorite hobbies, sports, television programs, or musical groups. If necessary, ask her parents for the information you need as a basis for talking with her. Suggest to the student ways in which she can pursue her interests in greater depth. You might even bring in a book or item from home related to one of her interests.

Help the student deal with adversity. If the student encounters academic difficulties, help her appreciate that failure is a normal part of learning and that everyone experiences disappointment or frustration at some point. You might tell her that Lincoln lost seven elections before being elected president of the United States, or that Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times during his career. Acknowledge the student’s frustration, and then move on to help her develop strategies for improvement. Express your confidence that –with hard work and your support — she is likely to succeed.

Encourage a sense of belonging. Students with low self-esteem often are isolated from their classmates. You can promote a student’s peer involvement with others by finding ways to integrate her into activities that are take place both in and out of school. You might organize a group activity that includes her. Or ask a couple of friendly and accepting students to spend time with her during recess or lunch. If students pair up for class activities, assign the student a kind and easygoing partner. You also might want to encourage the student’s parents to arrange additional social contacts with classmates, perhaps suggesting potential playmates.

Inform parents of their child’s successes. Teachers are quick to let parents know when their child has a problem. They are not nearly as diligent about notifying parents when their child is successful. Consider sending home a note or calling parents when their child does something noteworthy. Tell the student you are doing it. The gesture might take only a couple of minutes, but it can brighten the student’s day and engender positive responses from the parents to their child.

About Ken Shore

Dr. Kenneth Shore is a psychologist and chair of a child study team for the Hamilton, New Jersey Public Schools. He has written five books, including Special Kids Problem Solver and Elementary Teacher’s Discipline Problem Solver.

Click to read a complete bio.


Click on the link to read Two-Year Olds Forced to Have Fingerprints and Mug Shots Taken

Most People Think This Woman is Fat

June 3, 2012

This morning’s newspaper asked readers to comment on whether or not they thought this woman was fat. Whilst I don’t think this woman is fat at all, it is the question itself that got me worked up.

It reminded me about how obsessed we are about weight, and how this obsession is going to ensure that our children will spend more time aspiring to fit a certain look rather than to become good people.

Nobody seems to care anymore whether a person is caring, selfless, charitable or kind. These are attributes of losers. Surveys that ask what we would prefer to be, beautiful or kind, favour beautiful every time. The rationale being, that nobody is jealous of a kind person in the way they are of a good-looking one.

How are our children supposed to make sense of this?

It upsets me to see Primary aged children so conscious of their weight. It bothers me no end that 8-year olds know everything there is to know about the perfect body size and shape, but have no insights on the correct protocol for offering ones seat to an elderly person on a crowded train. The thought would never have entered their mind.

Haven’t we learnt our lesson? Did we not realise that an obsession with looks leads nowhere. It doesn’t make one happy. Why are we creating kids that follow our sick ways? Why are we perpetuating the message that there’s nothing wrong with gossiping, fakery and selfishness, but eating ice-cream is a sin?

So, no, I don’t find the woman fat. But guess what? I don’t care whether she is fat or not. I care whether she is a good woman, a kind wife, a loving mother, a loyal friend, a friendly co-worker etc. And ultimately, that’s what I want us all to look for.

There are frumpy, unfit people out there, with pale complexions who have unpopular taste in clothes. Some of these people are also tremendously kind and good-hearted. It would be criminal for us to marginalise these people, as some of them are the real beautiful people!

Praise Your Children and then Watch them Bully

May 30, 2012

A new report dispels the long-held theory that bullies have low self-esteem. This report maintains that bullies often come as a result of being over-praised and over-complimented.

LAVISHING children with praise and constantly pumping up self-esteem is breeding a generation of bullies, groundbreaking research reveals.

Prof Helen McGrath from RMIT, a key player in Australia’s anti-bullying policies, says mums, dads and educators have spent too much time telling kids that “darling, everything you do is wonderful”.

Rather than giving children “trophies for coming seventh, eighth and ninth”, they instead need a good old-fashioned dose of reality – including in their school reports, she said.

“The silliest thing you can tell children is, ‘If you set your mind to it, you can do anything you want’,” Prof McGrath said.

Now the State Government has flagged a comprehensive discussion on teaching methods.

Education Minister Martin Dixon said last night: “What Prof McGrath’s research has shown makes good sense and is worthy of wider debate.

“While parents and teachers want to encourage their children and students to be the best they can be, it is also important that we are genuine. A measure of self-esteem is good, but a large dose of self-respect and respect for others is even better.”

Well-meaning parents and teachers had been unwittingly contributing to the problem for 30 years through the “failed self-esteem movement”, she said.

“Parents love their children and are trying really hard to keep their self-esteem high, not realising … they’ve made the mistake of assuming that means their child can never have any failures, disappointments, sadness,” she said.

“But if we’re getting kids who are increasing in their sense of narcissism, and the need to be entitled and always get positive feedback … that is a fairly dangerous way for our community to go.”

It is fascinating to read of the Government’s clumsy response to this findings. They want teachers to start being “genuine” with the2ir students. Great idea! Now why didn’t I think of that?

It is quite a simple interpretation to think that bullies are just often children with overfed egos. The mistake this report seems to make is that it assumes that children grow to believe the messages that these parents send. The assumption is that these kids grow up thinking they can achieve anything they want (whether they have natural ability or otherwise).

This is not my experience. My experience tells me that such children weigh up the compliments and positivity they get from home with some of the negative talk they get outside, and it confuses them. Children who are constantly told how beautiful they are at home, are then called “ugly” and “fat” in the schoolyard. This mixture of messages makes them feel terrible insecure. Are their parents liars? Are their school friends just being cruel, or do they have a point?

So indeed, I do believe such children have low self-esteem. The realisation that some of the messages being sent from home are not shared by the world outside doesn’t inflate their ego, but rather, confuses them and makes them less trustworthy of others.

The best depiction of a bully (or I should say, “bullies”) comes from Mike Feurstein’s classic movie “How to Unmake a Bully“. Instead of portraying the bully as a person that has no characteristics that other children can related to, Feurstein paints him as a lost child, bullied himself in the past, without a undesratnding of other options and modes for letting off steam.

The beauty about the film is that after watching it, my students gain an appreciation and a unserdtanding not only for the victim but also for the bully himself.



One of the Most Overrated Skills in the Classroom

March 28, 2012

Whilst I can obviously see the value of teaching spelling skills, I don’t think it is anywhere near as important as schools make out.

The emphasis that spelling gets when it comes to teaching allotments, testing and reporting is astounding. Surely there are more vital skills such as maths, writing and reading that can profit from taking some of the ‘treasured’ spelling time.

Many skills now have specialised spelling programs complete with up to 5 weekly periods per class from the Second Grade upwards. Talk about overkill! My daughter recently brought home a form requesting our written consent to take her out of her classes in order to strengthen her spelling skills. What makes this request even more bizarre is that she is only in the first grade! I can understand taking her out for maths or English, but spelling?

What upsets me most about the obsession with children and spelling is what it does to our students. Our children know whether they are good spellers or not. They have been tested countless times and their work is often given a ‘dose of red’ where every misspelled word corrected. What then tends to happen, is that students become self-conscious about their spelling capabilities and try to avoid the dreaded red ink corrections. Instead of using the most appropriate word for their written work, they choose words they know how to spell. This has a severe negative impact on the quality of their writing.

I am a big fan of minimising the emphasis of spelling. I want my students to write freely, to choose words that best fits their work and have a fearless approach to spelling difficult words. To me, a free and unhampered piece of writing replete with spelling errors far outweighs a dreary, disjointed piece of work with correct spelling.

I’m not against the teaching of spelling and I certainly believe that spelling rules and the understanding of morphographs have a place in the classroom. I just don’t think these skills are anywhere near as important as many would have you believe.

%d bloggers like this: