Self-Esteem is so important for children, of course. As a School Psychologist, I have learned that low Self-Esteem is often the root behind many behavioral issues in the class, poor anger control, and negative peer interactions. It is also often the consequence of students having difficulty controlling their behaviors, having negative peer interactions, and difficulties learning. Think of the classic Chicken and Egg question. Here are some activities that I use for students with low self-esteem in their counseling sessions.
1)Videos for Elementary School-Aged Children About Self-Esteem, Confidence, Positive Affirmations, and Positive Thinking:
I like using videos, when appropriate, for some of my counseling students. Videos are a great tool because children learn best from a multi-modal approach. That includes videos, particularly when they are videos that have similar aged peers, have some modeling or examples, and are moderately entertaining. Here are several videos that I have used in my own counseling sessions with students that need support in the area of Self-Esteem.
10 Positive Thinking Strategies
I have made a few games that I can play with students either in-person or through the Zoom share-screen for teletherapy counseling. Games help engage students much better than worksheets in my opinion. Games help students to increase their engagement in counseling and do not require writing or other sustained effort tasks that students do not often want to do. After all, they come willingly to your office probably to avoid a few minutes of academic demands. By making counseling a little bit fun, they can learn in a way that is also enjoyable for them.
Here is one of my Self-Esteem focused games: The Self-Esteem Card Game
The Positive Thinking Game also helps students learn and think about their own negative self talk, so that they can better identify their negative thinking patterns.
3) Positive Thinking Presentation With BINGO Game
Made for Upper Elementary School students or Middle School students. Teach your students about positive thinking through this ready-made presentation. There is a BINGO game that goes along with it to help maintain engagement and attention.
Last school year I wrote a short play, called the “Positive Thinking Super Heroes Play” with worksheet activities. I had the students decorate super hero masks and then I filmed them, wearing eye and face masks performing the play. They had a lot of fun, and the video turned out great. While I am not going to put it on YouTube, I was able to show them their video at the end of the school year. In addition to the play, I created two worksheets that go along with the activity (see below).
Self-Esteem Weekly Journal
Journals are always a great tool that can help students become more self-aware of their own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. By assigning your counseling student to complete a weekly self esteem journal, they can increase their self-awareness and practice focusing on the positives in their day and week.
5) Self-Esteem Art Activities
Arts and crafts are another type of counseling session activity that can be used to support students with self esteem. Activities can range from writing a “Self-Esteem Poem” or by Coloring a paper with a Motivational Quote on it. I turn both items into door or wall-hanger pieces of art for students to hang in their bedrooms. I usually also make a sample before the session, so that they can see the final product, and I can then have counseling artwork to hang in my office.