Scouts Waiting List Tops 100,000 as parents try to help lockdown children develop self-esteem. Here are some very practical tips to nurture your children’s self esteem.

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An increasing number of parents are keen for their children to join Scouts CREDIT: Scouts/SWNS

I was speaking with Ben Kentish on LBC Radio about the enormous demand for  Scout membership as it has skyrocketed, with the organisation urging more volunteers to sign up to become Scout leaders.

The waiting list for the Scout Association has hit a record-high as parents look for ways to boost the confidence of their children who may have spent up to a third of their life in lockdown measures.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on children’s self-esteem across various age groups due to several factors:

Social Isolation:

The prolonged closure of schools and the reduction in social interactions with peers resulted in feelings of loneliness and social isolation. For many children, peer interactions are crucial for social development and self-esteem.

Disruption of Routine:

Children thrive on routine and predictability. The sudden shift to remote learning and the disruption of daily activities created a sense of instability, which can negatively affect a child’s sense of control and self-worth.

Academic Challenges:

The transition to online learning posed challenges for many students. Struggles with technology, lack of motivation, and varying levels of support at home led to academic difficulties, which can diminish self-esteem, particularly for students who previously viewed themselves as successful learners.

Parental Stress:

Many families experienced increased stress due to economic uncertainty, health concerns, and the demands of balancing work and childcare. This stress often trickled down to children, impacting their emotional well-being and self-perception.

Limited Extracurricular Activities:

The cancellation of sports, arts, and other extracurricular activities deprived children of opportunities to explore interests, develop skills, and gain recognition, all of which are important for building self-esteem.

Increased Screen Time:

With more time spent online, children were exposed to increased social media use, which can contribute to negative self-comparisons and cyberbullying, further damaging self-esteem.

Mental Health Issues: The pandemic has exacerbated mental health issues such as anxiety and depression in children. These conditions are closely linked to self-esteem, and an increase in mental health struggles can lead to a diminished sense of self-worth.

Overall, the combination of these factors created a challenging environment for children’s self-esteem during the pandemic. Addressing these issues requires a multi-faceted approach involving support from parents, educators, and mental health professionals.
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Here are some very practical tips to nurture your children’s self esteem.

Nurturing children’s self-esteem involves creating a supportive and positive environment where they feel valued and capable.
Here are some tips to help:

Show Unconditional Love:

Make sure children know they are loved and valued regardless of their achievements. Offer affection and praise genuinely and consistently.

Provide Positive Feedback:

Recognise and celebrate their efforts and achievements, no matter how small. Focus on the effort rather than the outcome to reinforce a growth mindset.

Encourage Independence:

Allow your children to make choices and take on responsibilities appropriate for their age. This helps them build confidence in their abilities.

Set Realistic Expectations:

Help  your children set achievable goals and provide guidance on how to reach them. Avoid putting too much pressure or expecting perfection.

Be a Role Model:

Demonstrate positive self-esteem and self-acceptance. Children often learn by observing the adults in their lives. So be mindful of how to act, speak and behave as your kids are watching, listening and learning from you all the time.

Teach Resilience:

Encourage children to view mistakes and failures as learning opportunities. Help them develop problem-solving skills and a resilient mindset.

Foster Social Connections:

Promote friendships and social activities. Positive interactions with peers can boost a child’s sense of belonging and self-worth. Invite friends round to play.

Promote Physical Activity:

Regular exercise can improve mood and self-esteem. Encourage participation in sports or physical activities that the child enjoys.

Support Interests and Talents:

Help your children explore and develop their interests and talents. Providing opportunities to succeed in areas they are passionate about can build their self-confidence.

Encourage Positive Self-Talk:

Teach your children to recognise and challenge negative thoughts about themselves. Encourage them to use positive affirmations and self-talk.

Be Present and Attentive:

Spend quality time with your children and actively listen to them. Showing that you value their thoughts and feelings boosts their self-esteem. Play, talk, eat together regularly.

Create a Safe and Supportive Environment:

Ensure that home and school environments are safe, supportive, and free from bullying. Address any issues promptly and sensitively.

By consistently applying these strategies, you can help children develop a healthy sense of self-esteem and a positive self-image – self esteem is like a muscle it needs constant nurturing.

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