Self-Acceptance vs. Self-Improvement: How to Help Kids Strive for Both
As the parent or Learning Coach of a growing student, you spend a lot of time encouraging your child to succeed. You might help your child improve his or her reading fluency, test-taking skills, virtual classroom etiquette, organization, and so on.
These are important skills that all students should develop. But don’t forget to also teach your child the importance of self-acceptance.
Activities to Encourage Self-Acceptance
Learning to accept yourself takes time, no matter who you are. But trying some of these self-acceptance activities will make your child aware of his or her unique strengths and weaknesses. In turn, he or she will develop self-esteem and celebrate his or her identity. Encourage your child to try a few of the activities below to get started.
- Discover the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Does your child know his or her strengths? He or she can use this theory to investigate abilities and develop others. These talents include Word, Logic, Nature, Music, Body, Self, and People Smarts. Understanding and exploring personal talents can build your child’s confidence and help him or her learn better.
- Nurture different interests. Self-expression is vital to helping kids grow as individuals. Dedicating time to hobbies teaches them to appreciate their individuality. Help your child find an outlet for creative expression, whether it’s painting, building robots, playing music, or exercising.
- Make Praise Magnets. In this activity, your child asks friends or family members to describe him or her using a kind word, such as “creative” or “loyal.” With index cards, glue, magnets, and other craft supplies, your child will make a magnet for each word. This activity encourages self-acceptance by showing children how they are viewed by the people they love. The magnets become daily reminders of your child’s best qualities.
- Create a Time Capsule. Adapt this summer activity for fall as a fun way for your child to preserve his or her memories for next year. The activity graphic offers a guide to creating scavenger hunt snapshots, school goals, and predictions for the future to include in the time capsule. When the time capsule is opened a year later, your child can answer many of today’s questions about him- or herself and show the personal and academic growth he or she will have experienced.
- Make a Strengths and Weaknesses Chart. This is a simple activity that organizes your child’s feelings about him- or herself. On a piece of paper, your child draws two columns. In the first column, he or she writes down his or her strengths. In the second column, he or she lists a few weaknesses. Next, ask your child to circle the things that he or she can change, such as study habits. Demonstrating that your child can work on certain weaknesses makes it easier to accept them. In other words, your child can use self-improvement as he or she strives for self-acceptance.
Self-Improvement Activities for Kids
Although we want children to strive for self-acceptance, it doesn’t mean they should avoid self-improvement activities. Self-acceptance means accepting who you are despite your behaviors. Self-improvement is about changing behaviors, not fundamental qualities. Children can view self-improvement as a way to become the best versions of themselves.
Some educational self-improvement activities your child can try are:
- Thinking creatively
- Studying effectively
- Taking good notes
- Using computers
- Creating efficient school schedules
- Setting deadlines
- Showing compassion
- Resolving conflict
- Gaining independence and becoming an adult
- Exercising better manners on social media
- Managing money
Does your child struggle with self-acceptance? What are some ways that he or she has embraced his or her identity? Let us know if you have tips or questions below.