By Karolyn Estevez, Youth development Specialist,
The PATH program at Carteret Middle School developed a Girls Group in order to spread positivity, promote healthy coping skills, and increase self-esteem within the young girls in Carteret Middle School.
Self-esteem building begins with self-love. During the fourth and fifth week of girls group, we focused on self-love, positive self-talk, positive affirmations, and empowerment. Our students were able to identify positive affirmations that they could practice reciting every day to increase their self-esteem and believe their potential.
Some positive affirmations students wrote consisted of "I am beautiful", "I am not my mistakes, I will learn from them and move forward", "I am smart", "I am worthy". We then had the girls write these affirmations on little strips and put them in a heart shaped box that were able to paint and decorate to make their own. The point of the Affirmation Box was to serve as a reminder for the young girls to practice reciting these positive affirmations to themselves. The more positive self-talk the girls engage in, the more of a likelihood that their self-esteem will increase.
Try this activity for yourself or your child.Find any small box that can be decorated and personalized. Make it look pretty! Then come up with affirmations that remind you or your child of all the positive qualities you/they have. Write those on slips of paper for the box. Then come up with some positive statements, reminders of helpful and inspiring thoughts and write those on slips for the box.Now whenever you need to be reminded of your awesomeness, inspired or uplifted , open the box and read a slip of paper.Another self-esteem activity the girls from Girls Group engaged in was creating Self-Love Mirrors. Usually when practicing positive affirmations, a good exercise is to look at yourself in the mirror and speak positive words to yourself. By creating a mirror decorated with empowering words and positive affirmations, the girls will be able to look at themselves in the mirror and repeat those words and be reminded daily of their positive traits. These activities were a favorite for the girls because it allowed them to feel empowered by creating. Self-esteem building is so important in this age group because it is when young adolescents are trying to gain a sense of self and who they are in the world. Encouraging positive self-talk daily is essential in building self-esteem and empowering our youth.