You see, Kathy’s social worker found out during their chat that Kathy loves to sing, but she only sings around the house. So this wise woman convinced Kathy to work on her self-esteem first by becoming involved in an activity that makes her happy. Since school would be starting soon, Kathy reluctantly promised the social worker and her mother that she’d try out for the glee club.
In preparation, for the tryouts Kathy picked an upbeat popular song and started practicing. She was amazed how singing lifted her spirits and everyone else’s in the house. Even her sarcastic, annoying older brother, who usually tells her she’s fat instead, told her she sounded great. Then her mother arranged for singing lessons. It was a group lesson, and Kathy was a little shy to go. Yet she came home from her lesson with several new friends who shared a common passion. One girl even went to her school.
After a while, Kathy felt so much better that she didn’t spend as much time sitting in front of the TV eating junk food. Besides she was too busy practicing singing with her new friends. And that junk food didn’t look as good as it used to. Without being told to diet, Kathy tried eating more of the fruits and almonds her mom kept in bowls around the kitchen for snacks. Her lips puckered at the sour taste of the Granny Smith apple, and the crunchy sweet taste of the almonds really satisfied her appetite. She started taking the dog for walks, long walks, a chore she formerly hated. Kathy has started caring about herself again.
Soon it was the first day of school. Kathy’s homeroom teacher said “Today the school is initiating a no tolerance policy for bulling and teasing. And furthermore, there will be special emphasis in each of your classes, including P. E., on the self-esteem of every student. We’ll be viewing videos and having group discussions starting today.” Kathy had to suppress a smile. She thought this is going to be a good year.
Imagine the type of adults that would come from this environment with involved parents, doctors and social workers who took adolescents’ issues seriously, teachers and schools working toward the goal of raising self-confident children no matter what size they come in. This scenario may sound overly optimistic; however, it incorporates five of recommendations listed on www.goodcharacter.com site for building self-esteem. They state:
1. Do things that you enjoy or that make you feel
2. Spend time with people who like you and care about you
3. Do things you are good at
4. Develop your talents
5. Be your own best friend - treat yourself well and do things that are good for you