Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Developing a High Self-esteem

We have all heard, and probably agree, that it is important to believe and value ourselves and our own creativity—in other words to have a high self-esteem. Why some adults have this gift and others seek always to look for and need positive reinforcement from others is the question. What kinds of experiences in childhood send some along one path of high self-esteem and others along a path where they can only trust perceived experts?
I would propose that the divergence in paths occurs in the early childhood years, when children begin to use their imaginations. Some families and teachers, seeking to steer children’s development, will overuse praise. “Your picture is beautiful. I love it!” These children have too many experiences where the adult’s idea of ‘beauty’ is imposed upon the child’s creativity. The child cannot be confident that his or her own judgment is correct. What if the child really didn’t think his picture was beautiful? These same parents might offer ‘helpful’ suggestions, “I think it would look prettier if you used a light blue color.” Whose idea of ‘pretty’ is important here?
The Toad would like to remind you to take a walk along Highway 8 in front of Toad House and let your little one choose a mini pumpkin to decorate at home. You can poke some holes in the top with a small screwdriver and your child can poke asters, leaves, and evergreen twigs to make a fall centerpiece. You can ask the questions, “Do you like it? Do you think it is pretty?” If your little one tells you he or she likes it, you can put it in the middle of your table for all to enjoy. You will be building self-esteem, one little pumpkin at a time.

Halloween Dance
Everybody up and do your Halloween, Halloween
Everybody up and do your Halloween thing.
Everybody up and do your Halloween thing.
When you hear the gong say, “boo!”
(additional verses)
Fly upon your brooms like the witches
Wiggle on the floor like the serpents
Dance up on your toes like a fairy, fairy
Wave your arms around like an owl
Now you shake your arms like the skeletons
Hold your hands up high like the goblins
March around the room like the monsters

(tune: Dance of the Macabre) –If you would like to hear this fun Halloween song you can go to and choose the first option -- learn a song or fingerplay.

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