August 4, 2017 / Leave a Comment
The school year is upon us! I Matter Too has been busy this summer preparing for our launch in Georgia. Today we wrap up our summer series working through our three main focuses with the final focus: Social Self Esteem. In July we discussed emotional self esteem in Live Loved: Addressing Emotional Self Esteem and academics/education in Self Education: How to Continue to Grow Over the Summer. Our three main focuses build on each other. Today as we talk about socializing to build self esteem we’ll discuss ways to help your child feel connected socially. When our children are emotionally healthy and succeeding academically they will be more comfortable with peers and adults.
Socializing: Identify Weak Areas
Is your child struggling socially? Are they uncomfortable around other children or having difficulty communicating with teachers? As you meet with your child and set quarterly goals it’s important to analyze their are social weaknesses. What social situations give them anxiety? As you work together to identify those areas of weakness get their input. What would help them overcome anxiety and succeed socially?
Know as you address any social anxiety that there is a spiritual component. Phillipians 4:6-7 instructs us to be anxious about nothing but in everything through prayer and supplication, submit our requests to God. Use this as a teaching opportunity. Pray with your child about their friendships, their relationship with their teachers, and with their parent, guardian, or foster parent. If they are struggling to make friends or to find the right friends, encourage them to ask God for that provision.
Socializing: Build the Environment
Encourage your child to socialize at school. With frequent changes in their home environment, often school will be the constant. A Christian club is a great place for them to seek out Christ-centered friendships. An academic club will allow them to socialize in an environment centered around a gift of talent. This already provides better self-esteem and eases socialization. If your child displays an aptitude for Chess, creative writing, or graphic arts this club will develop that skill while spending time with peers. Sports teams are a great way engage socially at school. Sports build camaraderie and encourage healthy physical activity. When your child chooses a way to engage, you can make the effort to support them at a game, recital, talent show, or club competition.
Every social environment provides the opportunity for our children to represent Christ. As they engage socially it’s important that we teach them the value of being Christ-like. Make sure that you talk through the importance of good sportsmanship, encouraging others, respecting authority, and sharing their faith with others boldly.
Socializing: Achieve Measurable Success
As you make a social goal for this quarter with your child, chose one you can measure. If the goal is to share their faith with one friend at school, be sure to celebrate that accomplishment when they achieve it. If the goal is to improve their relationship with a teacher, talk about what would make them feel they have accomplished that. You want to ensure they choose a goal with action steps and measurable results. Each quarter as we set new goals we want to continue to nurture healthy social self esteem and developing socially with intention.