Preparing kids to live in a world where social media is likely to have undue influence over their lives starts with teaching them the importance of self-love. Research shows that social media can have a negative impact on kids’ mental health, body image, and self-esteem. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to instill a healthy sense of self in your child.
In Self-Love for Kids: 100+ Activities to Help Your Child Develop Self-Love, Keri K. Powers, MA EdHD, Med, NCC, reveals how to nurture this important feeling in kids today. According to Powers, a mental health counselor turned elementary school counselor, self-love has deep roots in self-esteem, which is key to overall wellbeing. Raising happy and confident kids is one of the best ways you can prepare your child to deal with the oftentimes unhealthy messaging they may get from social media. Beyond that, self-love and self-esteem play an essential role in how we navigate relationships, make decisions, bounce back from setbacks, and more.
In Self-Love for Kids, Powers shares numerous activities that can help you foster self-love in your child. According to her, creating a breath circle in which you breathe in sync is a great way to help kids regulate their emotions and feel more secure. To help your child develop confidence, she suggests playing Catch a Compliment, a group activity that involves standing in a circle and tossing both a ball and a compliment (generally not related to appearance) to another participant. The idea behind the game is to help kids develop an appreciation for their unique qualities.
A scavenger hunt is another great way to enhance self-love, as it encourages problem-solving and gives kids a sense of accomplishment that promotes confidence. Powers also recommends planning an Adventure Day to help your child step out of his or her comfort zone. It could be building a fort, writing and performing a play, getting outside for a hike, trying a new sport, or climbing a rock wall. Generosity Day is a way for kids to understand their influence in the world. Powers suggests designating one day a month as Generosity Day in which kids will do as many generous acts as possible. That could involve baking cookies for neighbors, donating gently used toys or clothes, and sharing toys with siblings.
When it comes to self-care, the practice of putting your thoughts on paper, also known as journaling, has been found to offer up a host of benefits, including relieving stress, fighting depression, stimulating brain function, and enhancing memory. It can also help kids focus on the good things in life. Powers notes that when kids jot down their positive experiences from the day, they’re reminded not only of the good around them but also the good within them.
With more than 100 fun and easy activities, Self-Love for Kids transforms playtime into an opportunity for loving and learning. When kids know their own self-worth, they’re better able to advocate for themselves, resist peer pressure, and overcome challenges. It’s never too early to cultivate your child’s sense of self-love for a happy, healthy, and confident life.